Blizzard of 2015: Travel Ban Ending, Parking Bans Continues

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Charlie Breitrose

This snowman could have plenty of friends after the Blizzard of 2015 hits Watertown.

A few people braved the blizzard around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

A few people braved the blizzard around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The biggest storm of the winter is bearing down on Watertown, with heavy snow and blizzard conditions expected to start Monday night. Keep up with the latest news, cancellations and updates on Watertown News.

(Scroll to the bottom of the page for phone numbers that may be useful in the storm)

6:49 p.m.: The parking ban will continue, announced Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee. He expects it to last until 5 p.m. Wednesday so snow can be removed from the streets to allow for parking.

His crews have been working for about 36 hours straight, and Mee thanked the public for observing the travel and parking bans.

“The Department is also extremely grateful for the continuing patience and cooperation of the residents,” Mee wrote in a letter to town officials.

He expects Town Hall to be open for business on Wednesday. Schools are closed Wednesday, and trash/recycling will not be picked up, so normal pick up days will be delayed by two days (see below for details).

5:15 p.m.: Gov. Charlie Baker announced that the travel ban will be lifted at midnight Tuesday. The MBTA resumes operation Wednesday on its normal schedule “as much as the conditions allow.” There will probably be less service and fewer parking spaces at stations. Logan Airport opens at 6 a.m. Essential and emergency state employees will be reporting to work Wednesday.

4:48 p.m.: Trash and recycling collection will be delayed due to the storm. The Department of Public Works announced that trash/recycling pickup will be pushed back for two days. So, if you are normally a Tuesday pickup, your day this week is Thursday, Wednesday pickup is now Friday and Thursday pickup will now be Saturday!

1:30 p.m.: Watertown Superintendent of Schools Jean Fitzgerald just announced that the Watertown Public Schools will be closed Wednesday due to the storm.

12:20 p.m.: Hard to find a good spot to measure snow, but I measured about 15-16 inches in a nearby parking lot. Still seems to be coming down hard. Anyone else have snow totals? Share in the comments below or at

Also, a readers reports Tiki In in Watertown Square is open. Anything else?

Plows come in and out of Dunkin Donuts, one of the only things open in Watertown Square.

Plows come in and out of Dunkin Donuts, one of the only things open in Watertown Square.

10:45 a.m.: The roads are empty besides plows moving around and a few people walking in the windy, snowy and chilly conditions. Dunkin Donuts is open in Watertown Square, but appears to be the only thing open. Several plow drivers were taking a break there.

10 a.m.: The Department of Public Works provided an update to its snow and ice removal, which was shared by Town Councilor Cecilia Lenk. They started pretreating around 2 p.m. Monday. Contractors were prestaged around 8:30 p.m. and plowing began around 10 p.m. Monday.

“Currently, we are operating with 60 pieces of contractor equipment, 20 DPW pieces (including supervisors) and are staffing the EOC with 5 staff members, 3 clerical, one Police Officer and one Fire Officer,” the updates reads.

Crews have operated all night, dealing with temperatures in the mid-teens and wind gusts, causing near white-out conditions.

The storm had taken its toll on the vehicles, with several going in for repairs and one sander taken out of service due to a major engine failure. Five contractor vehicles also suffered mechanical problems.

Snow drifts come up to the bumpers of cars in a Watertown parking lot early Tuesday during the Blizzard of 2015.

Charlie Breitrose

Snow drifts come up to the bumpers of cars in a Watertown parking lot early Tuesday during the Blizzard of 2015.

8:29 a.m.: The Blizzard of 2015 took a while to get rolling in Watertown with only a bit of snow fall until about 3-4 a.m., but since then heavy snow has fallen.

Just after 8 a.m., I found about 6 inches had fallen using my trusty blue yard stick. Hard to tell because the snow is light and is blowing around. Plenty of snow still on its way, according to the National Weather Service which forecasts calls for another 11-14 inches in Watertown.

Right now there are no power outages in Watertown. Remember stay off the roads and all government offices, schools, the library and the senior center are closed, as are most businesses.

3:30 p.m.: Official Parking Ban announced:

“A severe weather event is predicted with high winds and 15-24 inches of snow accumulation in our area. On behalf of the Superintendent of Public Works, we would like to inform you that effective at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 the Town of Watertown will be under snow emergency until further notice.

On street parking will be banned and any motor vehicle left on the street will be subject to towing. The goal of the Public Works Department is to maintain public safety by providing reasonable access for emergency services during the height of the storm. The storm duration is anticipated to be long and every street in town will be addressed throughout the storm.

Tuesday’s trash collection has been postponed. Additional updates regarding trash collection, parking restrictions and other town notifications will be posted at

As always we appreciate your efforts to keep fire hydrants and catch basins clear in your area. Please call 911 in the event of an emergency. Thank you for your cooperation.”

2:45 p.m.: Looks like the parking ban in Watertown begins at 6 p.m. Official announcement not up online yet, but get your vehicles off the street before then. You can park in municipal and school lots, including behind the CVS and library in Watertown Square, on Wells Avenue (don’t park in the Citizens Bank spots or you’ll be towed) and at the Watertown Police Station. Other towns around Watertown have also called parking bans, including Belmont, Waltham and Boston.

2:36 p.m.: I’m hearing there will be a parking ban in Watertown starting this evening. More details to come.

2:04 p.m.: Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting has been cancelled due to the storm.

1:58 p.m.: Here is a photo from the National Weather service showing the predicted amount of snow around the state. I think Watertown is near the “B” in Boston.

snow forecast 1:26:15

12:45 p.m.: The Watertown Public Schools have announced there will be no afternoon or evening events, and schools will be closed on Tuesday. That means today’s boys’ hockey game and tomorrow’s boys and girls basketball games and girls’ indoor track meet have been postponed. Basketball games at Lexington will be rescheduled to Feb. 1, the track meet is moved to Feb. 5. The makeup date of the hockey game has not been announced.

12:22 p.m.: Gov. Charlie Baker has issued a statewide travel ban beginning at midnight tonight due to the Blizzard. Also, the MBTA runs until midnight on Monday but will be shutdown Tuesday. “This clearly is going to be a really big deal,” Baker said at the press conference.

Also, the Alzheimers Assocation of MA/NH will close its offices in Watertown at 2 p.m. Monday due to the storm.

11:39 a.m.: I see a few tiny snow flakes falling. It’s coming!!! Here are some storm preparedness tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Also, see their tips for keeping your pets safe.

10:17 a.m.: The Watertown Department of Public Works announced that trash and recycling will not be picked up on Tuesday, Jan. 27 due to the blizzard. Pick up will be pushed back at least one day. Further updates will be given on the Public Works website,

Here are some useful numbers:

  • Emergency: 911
  • Watertown Police/fire non-emergency: 617-972-6500
  • Watertown Department of Public Works: 617-972-6420
  • NStar outage reporting:  1-800-592-2000 or click here.
  • National Grid gas emergencies: 800-233-5325
  • Comcast: 1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278)
  • RCN: 1-866-TECH-RCN (1-866-832-4726)

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