Massachusetts struggles to remove snow after massive storm

Large snow storm in Massachusetts shuts down Boston transit and schools.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 10, 2015) (NECN) – Massachusetts continued to dig out on Tuesday (February 10) from a trio of massive snowstorms that have hit the state in the past two weeks and warned it was unclear when Boston’s transit system would reopen.

The head of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority defended the decision to shut Boston-area subways and rail service as schools remained closed across much of the area. Officials warned that the weight of the snow could result in roof collapses.

Some 500 National Guard troops were to deploy across eastern Massachusetts to help clear the roughly 6 feet (2 meters) of snow that has fallen in the past two weeks, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told reporters.

Baker also told reporters that his counterparts in New York and Vermont had agreed to lend heavy equipment to help with snow removal. Baker also said he had approved the purchase of two snow melters capable of melting 120 tons of snow per hour.

Beverly Scott, general manager of the MBTA transit service, said she had no choice on Monday afternoon but to order all rail services shut down, an announcement that came right before the evening rush hour and a few hours before the 7 p.m. shutdown.

Limited bus service continued on Tuesday but Scott said it was too soon to say when full transit services would resume on the system, which carries about 950,000 riders on a typical weekday.

Heavy snow on tracks had caused trains to lose contact with the electricity-carrying third rail across the system’s 800 miles (1,290 kilometers) of tracks, prompting the shutdown, Scott said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh began talks with the city’s teachers union on how to make up some of the eight school days canceled so far this year due to the repeated storms that have hit the region in the past two weeks.

This has been the area’s snowiest 30-day period on record. Much of eastern Massachusetts has received more than 6 feet of snow so far this year, making for the ninth snowiest winter on record.