"There’s a lot to like about Lowell," the city's marketing slogan says. On Tuesday, that meant liking snow, too, since it hit the jackpot.
The city had among the highest snow totals in Massachusetts, 24 inches, after a nor'easter crossed New England and brought varied impacts, from coastal flooding to the heavy snow that buried this Merrimack Valley community. People were still digging out cars and sidewalks in neighborhoods all over the city Tuesday evening.
“It’s heavy and it’s becoming ice. If we don’t clean this now, we cannot clean this in two days,” one woman said.
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The cold temperatures and large volume of snow makes it heavy, difficult to remove and therefore potentially dangerous.
Chiropractor Brad Weiss said people should stretch, stay hydrated and take their time shoveling snow, especially the wet and heavy kind.
”Use your knees. Lift. Turn your whole body, place the snow down, come back and do it again. It’ll take longer but it will result in fewer injuries,” said Weiss, of Performance Health Center.
The hill at Shedd Park was packed with parents and kids sledding and enjoying the first major storm in a number of years. It came at a time when everyone is looking for a diversion from the pandemic.
”It’s about time we got a snowstorm. I wish we would have more,” one woman said.
Twenty-five miles west, Fitchburg only got three-quarters of the snow that Lowell did -- a foot and a half -- but snowblowers were struggling at times to cut through it all.
“There’s other jackpots I’d like to hit!” joked local Vinny Tettis. “It’s a little rough, I haven’t seen this much snow in a long time.”
Plow truck drivers had their work cut out for them overnight, with snowfall rates hitting a couple of inches an hour at the peak of the storm.
Fitchburg Public Works Commissioner Nicolas Bosonetto said, “Overnight was pretty tough, with the high winds, visibility was near zero at some points and also big snow drifts on some parts that we had to send out big equipment to deal with it.”
But it’s maybe not as amazing spending the day shoveling, while many folks on the coastline dodged the snow completely.
“I’ll tell you I was scared, I was getting a little bit apprehensive,” said Dial-A-Mart driver Therese Hopkins, “but once I broke through the pile of snow at the end of my driveway in my car, I was like this is amazing.”