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Nor’easter Shuts Down Westford


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Westford during the Blizzard of 2017. COURTESY PHOTO J. WILLIAMS
Westford during the Blizzard of 2017. COURTESY PHOTO J. WILLIAMS

With winds gusting at more than 25 miles per hour and snow accumulation at 9 inches by 1:30 p.m., the late winter Blizzard of 2017 shut down Westford on March 14.

Schools, Town Hall, and even the WestfordCAT studio were buttoned up tightly as the winds raged.

At 2:45 p.m. Market Basket employees in Westford were winding down operations and planning to lock their doors by 3 p.m. Typically the store would have remained open until 9 p.m.

But the manager at CVS said the store would remain open until its regular closing time of 10 p.m. and the store’s pharmacy would shut down at 9 p.m. Dunkin’ Donuts would stay open until its regular closing time of 8 p.m., said an employee who answered the phone.

At 3:15 p.m. National Grid reported 37,131 Massachusetts customers had lost power from the storm but in Westford fewer than 5 customers were without electricity, according to the outage map.

Westford Veterans Service Officer and ham radio operator Terry Stader monitored the storm for the National Weather Service Taunton Amateur Radio Skywarn Group.

“Thundersnow occurring at this time,” he posted to Twitter at around 1:30 pm. According to weather.com, thundersnow is “an event in which thunder and lightening occur.”

At 1:30 p.m., the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said peak snowfall would occur at 3 p.m. Earlier, the snow fell at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour and wind gusts got as high as 50 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service posted a chart showing the top 10 one-day March snowfall totals in Boston during the month of March. Topping the list with 13.2 inches was March 19, 1956.

Tweets from Around the Region*

17m17 minutes ag                                                                                  12.2 Belchertown. With sleet snow mix

16m16 minutes ago                                                                       3.14.17 / 3:33PM / HOLLAND, MA – OVERLOOK RD / TREE ON HOME + THRU ROOF / /

12m12 minutes ago                                                                                                         11.7 inches in N billerica, still hvy snow… no mixing

15m15 minutes ago                                                                                                          10″ as of 3:30PM. 9.5″ of it came since 11AM

19m19 minutes ago                                                Millway Beach Barnstable Harbor NE winds@hightide

24m24 minutes ago                                                                                                       As of 3:30pm Fitchburg, MA.. hvy snow, wind NE 14, 13.8″ running ttl (1.8″ in last hr).

60m60 minutes ago                                                                                                      before and during the !

  1. *Source: National Weather Service Taunton Amateur Radio Skywarn Group

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