HARVARD -- Last week's storm, categorized as a blizzard by weather forecasters, dumped 24-plus inches of snow on the region, as predicted, and it came with some gusty winds. But the snow was light and fluffy and the storm blew out without doing the usual amount of damage along the hilly, tree-lined streets of Harvard, which historically gets hit hard by winter storms.
The police log showed a relatively quiet two days, without motor-vehicle accidents or residential mishaps due to the storm. Police were not called out for any storm-related incidents, Officer Daniele Fortunato said.
With not a single power outage reported, this weather event may have set a record for its lack of incident.
To some extent, that's because people stayed home and off the roads, Fortunato posited. Although her 45-minute commute to work about doubled due to slow travel on slippery, snow-covered roads, she said highway traffic was light thanks to the state of emergency and statewide travel ban called by the governor for Friday afternoon through Saturday.
It kept vehicles off the roads so plows could get through and probably reduced the number of motor-vehicle accidents, she said. Notably, there were none in Harvard during that period.
Fire Chief Richard Sicard, who coordinates the town's emergency response team with Police Chief Edward Denmark, Town Administrator Tim Bragan and DPW Director Rich Nota, said he put four firefighters on standby overnight, in preparation for the storm. But as it turned out, they were not needed. The only Fire Department call-out was to assist the ambulance, but it wasn't storm-related, he said.
Sicard said Patrick's crackdown on unnecessary travel was right on. "No question it was the best call the governor could have made," he said. Especially so because employers had to heed it. "They were forced" to do the right thing, he said.
Comparing traffic tie-ups and motor-vehicle accidents across Massachusetts with neighboring states such as New York and Connecticut underscored the wisdom of staying home during the storm, Sicard said.