Another big storm bears down on US Northeast, may last days

Updated: 2015-02-09 11:24


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Another big storm bears down on US Northeast, may last days

People walk up a snowy sidewalk during a snowstorm in Tarrytown village, Westchester County, New York February 2, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

BOSTON - Winter-weary residents of the Northeast US, which has been battered recently by a series of major snowstorms, braced Sunday for even more, as schools and courts announced closures and drivers were warned to stay off roadways.

Light snow was falling Sunday afternoon but the "long duration" storm was expected to intensify on Sunday night. The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for parts of New York state and much of the northeastern New England states through early Tuesday.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said all of the city's public schools would be closed Monday and Tuesday. He urged people to stay off roadways until the storm passes.

Courts also announced they would close Monday due to the forecast, delaying jury selection in the Boston Marathon bombing case and in the ongoing murder trial of former Boston Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez in Fall River, Massachusetts.

The snow is likely to cause problems for commuters on Monday, though it's not expected to accumulate as rapidly as in some of the earlier storms, including a record-busting late January blizzard. There also is little risk seen of significant coastal flooding, a problem during last month's winter blasts.

Boston's transit system, the nation's oldest, has been particularly hard hit. The buildup of snow and ice on trolley tracks combined with aging equipment has stalled trains in recent days, delaying and angering commuters. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority general manager Beverly Scott said Saturday that crews were doing everything they could, including deploying massive jet-powered snow blowers, to clear tracks before the next storm.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker acknowledged on Friday that the MBTA was handed an extraordinary situation with old equipment but said the system's overall performance was unacceptable.

In many New England communities, the obvious problem is where to put the next batch of snow.

David Lombari, public works director for West Warwick, Rhode Island, told the Providence Journal his town was already clogged with snow piles several feet high and school buses were parked in the usual snow storage lot.

Adding injury to insult perhaps, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency warned that potentially record cold temperatures and wind chills are expected to move into the region later in the week after the storm.

Not everyone was dreading the blast of winter.

Business has been brisk at Charles Street Supply hardware in Boston, where owner Jack Gurnon sells shovels, salt and sleds. He drove to Portland, Maine, to stock up so he'd be able to meet demand when the next storm came.

"We actually have a lot of supply right now, and we're lucky because the big box stores, they're scrambling around, and I'm sitting on a whole bunch right now," Gurnon said.

But an increase in sales isn't all he is looking forward to. "I also love to ski, so as soon as this next mess is over with, I'm taking off and going north," he said.

Associated Press radio correspondent Julie Walker in New York City and writer Mary Esch in Albany contributed to this report.