The first major storm, Winter Storm Riley, brought high winds and torrential rain to the region March 2, flooding roadways and dropping branches – or whole trees – on resident’s homes, while Tuesday’s Winter Storm Skylar blanketed the area in up to 18 inches of snow. By Wednesday, Abington and Whitman residents had hit the slopes.
The young boy screamed in delight as his Sno-Tube – shaped like a giant pink doughnut – zipped down the hill at the Whitman Town Park, where the pressure of hundreds of sledders had packed the snow from Tuesday’s winter storm down until it resembled porcelain.
He paid no mind to the jagged scar about halfway up the large tree at the bottom of the hill as he passed underneath. The branch that had been ripped from that spot has long since been cleared away, but the damage stood as a reminder of how different each of the three nor’easters that swept through the Brockton area and South Shore in less than 10 days had been.
The first major storm, Winter Storm Riley, brought high winds and torrential rain to the region March 2, flooding roadways and dropping branches – or whole trees – on resident’s homes, while Tuesday’s Winter Storm Skylar blanketed the area in up to 18 inches of snow.
Power was knocked out for days in some towns and the clean-up efforts have been constant but, on that hill Wednesday morning, no one seemed to mind that winter had come in force just days before the official start of spring.
“Look out, don’t hit him!” Melissa Cook shouted down the slope to her daughter Jacqueline as she rocketed toward where her son, Nicholas, was rolling off of his own sled.
“We’ve had quite a few snow days the last couple weeks, but we couldn’t stay inside any longer,” she said as she prepared another sled so her daughter Adeline could join her siblings. “We just had to get out.”
Cook said she lost power for a day at her Abington home after the first storm. “We’re fortunate it was just a day, but we haven’t seen a storm like that in a while,” she said, noting her neighbors had just moved up from North Carolina.
“They said ‘Do you get these kinds of storms a lot?’ They were shocked.” Cook laughed.
From atop the hill, James Black looked minuscule as he hefted snow off of the walkway at his nephew’s house with a bright yellow shovel. For Black, Nor’easters are something to look forward to.
“It’s awesome. I love them,” exclaimed the Roxbury resident, leaning on the shovel’s handle to catch his breath. “I plow. I was out for 19 hours yesterday, helping out my nephew. I do it for free, I have really nothing to do.”
At Strawberry Valley Golf Course in Abington, dozens of area residents, young and old, staked out spots along one of the hills and cleared a launch pad. Five-year-old James Kolodziej plopped on his foam sled and slid off down the slope, but came to an abrupt stop in a shallow trench half-way down.
His father Michael Kolodziej, a member of the towns’ fire department, spent Tuesday keeping a vigilant eye out for emergencies and responding to downed tree and fallen wire calls. On Wednesday, he took his family out to the hills.
“It wasn’t too bad, nothing major,” he said of the storm as daughters Sage and Riley strapped into their snowboards.
Sage said she enjoys sledding at Strawberry Valley because the best hill is close to the parking lot, saving her the trouble of trudging through the tall snow. “We got so much snow, and you go so deep into it. It’s hard to pick up your feet,” she said.
Michelle Frost of East Bridgewater said she spent the morning with her two sons, though they seemed more interested in playing in the snow than clearing it away. “I have a snowblower so it wasn’t too bad,” she said.
“After doing so well in February, I thought we were in the clear,” she said. “Not quite. But it’s all good – it’ll melt.”