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Boston Might Dump Excess Snow Into the Harbor

1 minute read

Boston is considering dumping snow into the ocean as it runs out of room to deposit its recent snowfall.

The city has received 61 inches in the past 30 days, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh says Boston’s snow melters are unable to keep up with the demand, the Boston Globe reports. The city’s vacant “snow farms” are also almost filled up.

“We’re going to explore the opportunity of putting this snow in the ocean,” Walsh said. “We’re looking at that now because of the amount of snow we have.”

Dumping snow into the ocean is normally prohibited, except for special occasions when extreme snowfall puts public safety at risk. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection says the snow-removal tactic is allowed, as long as the city notifies the state and the Boston Conservation Commission. Several other cities in the state have already notified state authorities of similar plans.

“We’re not at a public safety concern yet, but we will be if we keep getting snow like this,” Walsh said.

[Boston Globe]

See 11 of the Worst Winter Storms in U.S. History

Snow Removal
The Blizzard of 1888 (March 11-12, 1888) This late-in-the-season snowstorm devastated much of the East Coast, incapacitating New York City, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia with up to 50 inches of snow. Here, carts haul excess snow and ice from city streets for dumping in the East River in New York City.Buyenlarge/Getty Images
The Knickerbocker Storm, 1922
The Knickerbocker Storm (Jan. 27-28, 1922) This snowstorm lasted for two days and a accumulated a regional record of 28-inches of snow. And it got its name after the famous Knickerbocker Theater, whose roof collapsed under the weight of the snow, with Washingtonians still inside watching a film. The disaster claimed 98 lives and is still one of Washington's deadliest snow storms. Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Chicago, Great Snow Of 1967
The Great Midwest Blizzard (Jan. 26-27, 1967) This blizzard raged from the Ohio Valley down to New Mexico. It still holds Chicago's record for heaviest snow fall in 24 hours (23 inches) and resulted in the deaths of 76 people. Robert Abbott Sengstacke—Getty Images
Willie Sutton
The Post Christmas Storm of 1969 (Dec. 25-28, 1969) Up to 2-3 feet of snow accumulated in New England and upstate New York. Here, kids skate while their dog plays on the snow-covered ground at Argyle Pond in Babylon, New York, Dec. 25, 1969. Gordon Rynders—New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images
The Blizzard of 1978 (Feb. 5-7 1978) Hurricane-force winds, up to 90mph, and snow totals of up to 3 feet defined this blizzard. Here, Roy Sodersjerna of Higham, Mass. suns himself on the hood of his car, which is stuck in the snow on Massachusetts Route 128 in Dedham, Mass. on Feb. 9, 1978.AP
Winter  Snow           New York
The Superstorm of 1993 (March 12-13, 1993) This storm caused nearly 300 deaths, with New York state recording over 40 inches of snow. Paul Hurschmann—AP
Huge tunnels dug out of the snow allow New Yorkers to get on
The Blizzard of 1996 (Jan. 6-9, 1996) The mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions received 2-3 feet of snow, with Philadelphia accumulating 30.7 inches - its highest snowfall record to date. Susan Watts—New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images
The Blizzard of 2005 (Jan. 20-24, 2005) Snowfall blanketed the Northeast, with areas around Boston reporting 3-5 inches of snowfall per hour and totalling 43 inches. Here, Sam Germaine walks past the frozen entrance to his home in Hull, Mass. on Jan. 25, 2005. STEVEN SENNE—AP
US East Coast Begins To Dig Out After Large Blizzard
The Post-Christmas Storm of 2010 (Dec. 25-28, 2010) New York City received over 20 inches of snowfall. Here, a man digs out his car in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City on Dec. 27, 2010.Chris McGrath—Getty Images
Large Snow Storm Roars Through The Midwest
The Groundhog Day Blizzard (Feb. 1-2, 2011) Many cities throughout the midwest and Northeast received 1-2 feet of snow and some even declared states of emergency. Here, University of Iowa student Andrew Uhe uses a cookie sheet to sled down the hill behind Lincoln Elementary School in Iowa City on Feb. 2, 2011.Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
APTOPIX Wintry Weather
Blizzard in Buffalo (Nov. 18-20, 2014) Over six feet of snow descended on Buffalo, N.Y. and its suburbs, paralyzing the area. Over 100 people were stranded and at least six people died. Derek Gee—The Buffalo News/AP

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