Blizzard 2013 Hit Foxborough with Lots of Snow, Few Problems

Foxborough weathered Blizzard of 2013 with power and very few issues.

Unlike other major storms in recent memory, Blizzard 2013 was relatively quiet in Foxborough.

There was snow – 29 inches – but Foxborough officials reported few problems during the 48-hour blizzard. Perhaps the best news to come out of Foxborough during Blizzard 2013 was that for the first time in over a year, a major storm in town did not result in massive power outages. In fact, this weekend’s blizzard produced zero power outages – only flickering lights on Saturday night.

“It’s amazing,” said Town Manager Kevin Paicos.

National Grid’s Foxborough Liaison Tom Coughlin agreed.

“It is amazing that we didn’t at least have house services down,” said Coughlin. “I think what happened is when the temperature started to drop the snow gets less dense and it starts to dry out so some of the trees and power lines were relieved of some of the pressure. That probably helped us quite a bit.”

As for public safety, Foxborough Police Chief Edward O'Leary and Foxborough Deputy Fire Chief Steven Bagley said there were very few incidents related to the blizzard.

"Very quiet," O'Leary said. "A few run-of-the-mill calls but nothing of significance."

O’Leary reported around 9 a.m. Saturday that a minor accident between a motorist and a private plow truck occurred in town.

“Nothing significant,” O’Leary said. “A minor accident because somebody hit a plow or a plow hit them. There were no injuries.”

O’Leary credited the lack of incidents to most residents obeying Gov. Deval Patrick’s travel ban.

Bagley also reported a quiet 48 hours for Foxborough Fire, saying he received three calls prior to 9 a.m. and none in the afternoon.

Foxborough’s main concern throughout the storm was the condition of the roads. DPW Director Roger Hill and Town Manager Kevin Paicos urged residents to stay off town roads throughout the blizzard. After the blizzard ended late morning Saturday, Hill said his department’s focus shifted to cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess.

He has reported to town officials that he is not confident sidewalks will be cleared in time for school Monday. Foxborough Superintendent of Schools Debra Spinelli said no decision has been made as of Saturday and expected to assess the situation on Sunday before deciding the status of school Monday.

Paicos said Town Hall will open Monday for normal operations.

Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair was appreciative of the town’s efforts and communication during the blizzard.

“What a difference this [storm was] compared to the three storms a year ago,” DeVellis said. “Everyone came together and did a great job.”

The town has asked residents to clear fire hydrants near their homes and clear their vents.

And as the town shifted its focus to a snow clearing operation Saturday, Paicos encouraged residents to get out and enjoy the white stuff.

"Go build an igloo or go sledding," Paicos said.

Where Does This Storm Rank?

7News reported Saturday that the Blizzard of 2013 was among the top six blizzards ever recorded in the Boston area. Ironically, four of the six blizzards occurred in February. Here’s a look at the region’s top six blizzards:

  • Feb. 17-19, 2003 produced 27.5 inches of snow
  • Feb. 6-7, 1978 produced 27.1 inches of snow
  • Feb. 24-27, 1969 produced 26.3 inches of snow
  • March 31 to April 1, 1997 produced 25.4 inches of snow
  • Feb. 8-9, 2013 produced 24.9 inches of snow
  • Jan. 22-23, 2005 produced 21.8 inches of snow

Hill said earlier Saturday that while Blizzard 2013 wasn’t “quite as bad as the Blizzard of ‘78” it was up there.

“It is a big, big storm,” Hill said. “After the Blizzard of ’78 our schools were down for two weeks. This isn’t the same but I want everybody to understand getting this stuff open is a tedious and long procedure. We have so many plows and that’s it. Everybody has to be patient. There’s no instant gratification in fighting Mother Nature.”

Did the Blizzard of 2013 Live Up to the Hype?

We asked Patch readers if the blizzard lived up to its hype. Here’s what they said:

Raquel L. Auriemma: “Thankfully it wasn't as bad as I'd expected.”

Liz Perry: “It's well above my knees, but honestly it's not that bad. Unfortunately my car is completely buried though!”

Lisa Galante Pothier: “Yes! Snow totals and crazy drifts but also so thankful we didn't lose power.”

Amy LaBrache: “Same here. Thankful I didn't lose power ... drifts were crazy … kids are loving it though!”

Dianna Grant Screen: "Thankful for power! Snow isn't too bad. Really glad for the travel ban. Think that really helped.”

Teri Wallace: "So grateful to have kept power in Foxborough for once!!!!!!!”

Jennifer Ooi: "Yes, kudos to all the folks who contributed to keeping our power on!!”


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