Those 70-degree days of late February were just a tease. It seems Mother Nature is not feeling as hospitable toward New England this month.
Crews across eastern Massachusetts are digging cities and towns out again after the third nor’easter in two weeks – which combined have dumped more than two feet of snow and left thousands without power for days – and by this Wednesday, the general feeling was, "Enough already."
The first nor’easter, which struck the region on March 2, didn’t bring much snow. And the snow that did arrive was at least light and fluffy and easy to shovel. But it did have strong winds and lots of flooding, causing widespread devastation along the coast.
Newburyport saw watery havoc townwide in those two storms, especially along the shore. At one point, crews had to rescue a tractor from the water. The Plum Island Turnpike was shut down. Brown's Lobster Pound, which recently recovered from a fire, was engulfed and completely flooded.
The second storm snuck up on us late last week and dumped about a foot of snow inland and about nine inches along the shore. And that snow was wet, heavy and dangerous to shovel, adding to Newburyport's water woes. The storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes in Massachusetts, and some power outages lasted until Sunday.
But hold on. Mother Nature wasn’t done with us yet.
Holding true to the old saying that "March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb," in the early hours of Tuesday morning, a third nor’easter – complete with blizzard warnings and school closings – stalked into New England and delivered a beastly 14 inches of new snow.
Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday took to social media to thank the Department of Public Works, the city's police and fire departments and other agencies for getting the city through the crisis.
"Unfortunately the entire City of Newburyport lost power beginning early Thursday morning and the power outage continued for some Newburyport residents until yesterday afternoon," Holaday wrote on her blog Tuesday."I would like to commend National Grid for a high level of communication during difficult conditions and restoring power to most of the City within a 24 hour period; one of the first communities in Essex County and the Merrimack Valley to have full power restored. I will be working regionally with other municipal leaders and State delegations to attempt to decrease the number of outages in our community particularly in west end of the City."
Fortunately, this latest storm brought light, dry snow compared with the one before it. As of Wednesday, there were no outages reported in Newburyort, Amesbury or Salisbury and just a few reported in Newbury and West Newbury.