Cancellations and delays

By 8 pm yesterday, the Lowell public schools and UMass Lowell had been canceled, so part of the typical drama of a snow storm was gone.

The Registry of Deeds and courts in Lowell will open at 11 am today in accordance to this notice on the Trial Court’s website:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
There will be a delayed opening for courts in the
following nine counties: Berkshire, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcester.
Courts in these counties will open at 11:00 AM.
In all remaining counties, it is business as usual
with a regular schedule.

I’m no expert on the train schedule, but I think some other media outlets have messed up in reporting today’s train cancellations. Here’s the email alert I got from the MBTA last night:

Lowell passengers, please be advised the following trains will be canceled for the morning commute :
351, 355, and 357.
352, 356, and 358.

According to the Lowell line schedule, Trains 352 (6:55 am), 356 (8:30 am) and 358 (9:15 am) all leave from Anderson/Woburn and go to Boston. They don’t come anywhere near Lowell, Billerica or Wilmington.
The problem is that there is a 9:15 am train from Lowell. It’s #314 and I haven’t seen anything about it being canceled so I think it will leave Lowell at 9:15.

And then there’s the Human Sled Dog Race that’s part of Winter Fest; it’s been canceled because the DPW workers who normally would construct the track on Arcand Drive are needed to clear snow from the roads. I doubt that anyone will publicly criticize this decision. Even if the roads are all cleared by the weekend, the wide snow banks that inhibit parking and high snow banks at intersections that restrict visibility should be addressed as soon as possible for safety reasons. Still, given that this is Lowell and given the recent controversy that bubbled up when the Lowell Five announced it was cutting its donations to Winter Fest and both Mayor Jim Milinazzo and City Manager Bernie Lynch questioned whether the Winter Fest as we have known it has outlived its usefulness and should evolve into something else, while the mayor and the manager would never admit it publicly, our current weather problems might actually assist in the implementation of their strategic vision of what Winter Fest should become.

9 am UPDATE: Just spent the last hour outside with the snowblower. Only 4 inches fell since last night and by 8 am it had changed over to sleet. The temperature was 21 when I went out and 22 when I came back in, so it’s still well below freezing. The trains that are leaving from Lowell are reported to be 20-30 minutes late and City Hall has changed from “open at 11 am” to closed for the day.