A Snow Tale of Two Cantons: Georgia vs. Massachusetts
Both Canton towns got hammered by the Nor'easter this week. Who got hit the hardest?
Over a foot of snow buried Canton, Mass., Wednesday after the first Nor’easter of 2011 pummeled the Boston region. The National Weather Service estimated 17.9 inches of snow fell on the Canton area, which is just south of Boston. The area still had leftover snow from the December 26 Blizzard of 2010.
The storm brought whipping winds, with gusts up to 38mph and temperatures in the 20s.
Schools and town offices were closed for the day across the Bay State, and Canton’s Department of Public Works crews were out since 12 a.m. sanding, plowing and trying to keep the roads clear. Canton’s Fire Department responded to several calls for downed power lines and downed trees. Most of the area had electricity, although some spots reported power outages earlier Wednesday.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation had 4,000 pieces of equipment out plowing, sanding and clearing the roads, and Canton's DPW is still out in full force. However, state and local officials urged residents to stay off the roads to allow for proper clearing and to make way for emergency vehicles.
There were not many drivers out in Canton last night, and the main roads still had a good amount of snow on them.
Down in Georgia, just weeks after its first white Christmas in more than a century, the so-called snowpocalypse of 2011 whipped through Canton shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday night. Folks have been snowed in ever since.
J. Robby Westbrook, director of the Cherokee Sheriff's Office of Homeland Security - Emergency Management, estimated that anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of snow blanketed the county "with (a) nice coating of freezing rain on top."
The conditions, coupled with lingering freezing temperatures, have paralyzed the city. Schools and government offices have been closed all week. Roads have been shut down. Basic services such as garbage collection have been interrupted.
Road crews have plowed and treated primary roads, but secondary roads remain hazardous and officials have urged people to avoid driving.
Some have not heeded the advice. Since Sunday night, there have been 23 accidents, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Jay Baker said. With the exception of three accidents, none resulted in injuries. The three that resulted in injuries were not life threatening, Baker said. Power outages have been isolated.
The tide appears to be turning.
Primrose School of Sixes Road will open at 10 a.m. today. Cherokee County grand jurors must report for duty at the same time. Twelve-month employees of the Cherokee County School District are expected at work at noon, while Cherokee County government employees must arrive at 1 p.m. Reinhardt University staffers have been instructed to come to work if conditions are safe.