How much snow has fallen? Central Mass. storm updates (2024)

Mike Elfland,Brad PetrishenWorcester Telegram & Gazette

While Central Massachusetts slept, Mother Nature didn't. The season's first storm arrived at bedtime Saturday and was going strong as of midday Sunday.

As of 3 p.m., high winds sent the snow in Worcester swirling, making visibility extremely poor.

Snowfall in Worcester eventually measured 15.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

More: No school in Worcester Monday; other districts on two-hour delay

In Worcester, 312 pieces of equipment and trucks began clearing the street at the start of the storm, and that plowing would continue until the snow passed.

A parking ban in Worcester was lifted at midnight.

Parts of the region had received more than 6 inches of snow by Sunday morning, and by late afternoon some communities had reported a foot of accumulation or more.

Updated snowfall totals for Worcester County

Here are snowfall totals reported by the National Weather Service late Sunday:

Ashburnham: 17.5

Leominster: 17.4

Lunenburg: 17.1

Fitchburg: 16.5

Harvard: 16

Leicester: 15.6

Worcester: 15.5

Clinton, Paxton and Princeton: 15

Westborough: 14.6

Hubbardston: 14.5

Boylston and West Boylston: 14.2

Bolton: 14

Holden: 13.5

Templeton: 13

Petershap: 11.8

Barre and Sturbridge: 11.5

Milford: 10

Southborough: 9

Hopedale: 7

(The National Weather Service does not list snowfall amounts for all towns.)

Plow crews in Worcester and surrounding communities were on the roads into Sunday evening.

In some areas, heavy, wet snow was sticking to trees, picturesque but creating the possibility of downed limbs. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reportedaround 18,900 outages statewide as of 5 p.m., with about 600 in Worcester County.

Outage map Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Schools in Worcester will be closed Monday, as will the Worcester Senior Center and Worcester Public Library branches.

Worcester residents began the season's first digging out early Sunday — some grudgingly, others happily.

"It's about time," said Tefta Gremaj of South Flagg Street as she watched her husband teach their son, Aleks, how to use the snowblower.

It was the 11-year-old's first-ever turn on the machine and he concentrated intently as his 14-year-old brother, Nikolas, polished off the stairs with a shovel.

"He's our strong arm," Tefta Gremaj said of Nikolas with a smile. She said her family has been waiting for the first snowflakes with anticipation — though her boys would have liked it to come on a weekday.

"They're hoping for maybe a (school) delay (Monday)," she said.

The prospects of that, as of Sunday morning, seemed grim, as snow, while expected to continue throughout the day, should stop by evening.

The snow, after abating Sunday morning, picked up after 11 a.m. turning some of the more wooded parts of the city into a winter wonderland.

"They're flowing," Dana Prouty of Hardwick remarked of the Cascades as he took a quick break from plowing to take a shot with his cellphone.

As of noon Sunday, Prouty had been out plowing for the city on contract since about midnight and planned to keep going until the snow stopped in the afternoon.

The ride in from Hardwick — 25 miles to the northeast of the city — was a rough one at the height of the storm Saturday night, he said, with visibility at zero.

While there wasn't anybody hiking the Cascades at noon Sunday, Prouty said a group of about 15 people and their dogs were out earlier this morning.

Prouty, who has been plowing for the city for about a dozen years, noted that the water should be flowing down the falls much faster by mid-week, as the forecast calls for melting snow and more precipitation.

A few minutes after Prouty resumed his route, a black Jeep Rubicon with impressive 37-inch tires rolled up to the Cascades and 10-year-old Shane Crocker hopped out.

Before his father Sean could whip out his phone, Shane was already a dozen feet up the side of the Cascades, in his element.

"He loves the snow," said his dad, who had just taken the boy for a ride out to Rutland.

The first winter storm was no match for the Rubicon's set of wheels, Crocker said, and they had a lot of fun.

"We hit some of the dirt roads no one had gone down yet," Crocker said.

The lifelong Worcester resident, who lives just down the street, said while the snow isn't his favorite thing, his son can't get enough of it.

"He woke up early — it was like Christmas morning," he said.

Also filled with wonder by the snow Sunday was Faiz Sobhani, 30, who recently immigrated to Worcester from India.

The snowflakes that fell Sunday morning were the first the longtime Mumbai resident had ever experienced.

"It's pure bliss — so beautiful," Sobhani said outside his home on Modoc Street. "No words can describe what I'm feeling right now."

Sobhani — whose wonder, it should be noted, was expressed before he had shoveled his driveway, a task he planned for later Sunday — spent the morning on a video call with family members in India.

He and his wife, Sanaa Sobhani, are expecting their first child, a boy, in several months.

"It's like a postcard," Sanaa, also from India, said of the weather in Worcester. She said she appreciates the way the snow looks on the old architecture downtown and also especially loves the city in fall.

Faiz Sobhani said he's looking to put down roots in Worcester, as he's looking for work and received his green card.

"There's food here from every culture," he said admiringly, "and the people are really nice."

The storm prompted the Diocese of Worcester to urge parishioners to attend Mass Saturday afternoon, saying there was no obligation to attend church Sunday because of safety concerns.

Meantime, much of the snow could be gone by midweek, with the weather service predicting temperatures in the 50s Wednesday. The expected rain, combined with the melting of snow, could create flooding in some areas.

Scattered power failures reported in Worcester County

The storm was not expected to bring widespread power failures. About 600 customers in Worcester County were without power as of 5 p.m. Sunday, mostly in the southern part of the county, with the highest number - 250 - in Southborough.

How much snow has fallen? Central Mass. storm updates (2024)

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