Health & Environment

Snow Emergency: Parking, Shoveling & School Closure Information

Tuesday’s winter storm is anticipated to bring up to 12 inches of snow to Boston. Snow will be heavy, and will bring poor visibility and winds up to 20-30 miles per hour, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Boston’s Emergency Operations Center will activate at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will monitor the storm over the course of its duration. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, in effect from 5 a.m. tomorrow morning until 5 p.m.
“We are encouraging residents to stay off the roads during the storm, to assist older residents and those with disabilities, and to keep up with the shoveling of their property throughout the storm tomorrow,” said Mayor Walsh. “The City offers a number of resources geared towards keeping residents safe and aware of current conditions. I ask each and every single Boston resident to remain vigilant, stay safe and look after their neighbors.”
  • Boston Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday in anticipation of the storm.
  • Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) stand-alone community centers will be open, with school-based sites closed.
  • Boston Public Libraries will be closed.
  • For City of Boston employees, only public safety, emergency management and snow operations personnel are required to report to work tomorrow.
  • The City of Boston is putting into effect a Snow Emergency and Parking Ban on main roads beginning at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
  • Discounted parking will be available in City garages. Locations and pricing information can be found at:
  • Residents are encouraged to stay off the roads, and take public transportation if needed.


  • The Public Works Department (PWD) will begin pre-treating roadways prior to dawn.
  • PWD will have over 700 pieces of equipment treating roads and plowing snow during the height of the storm.
  • PWD will have over 30,000 tons of salt available.
  • Trash and recycling collection will begin at 5 a.m. for Tuesday pickups.
  • Street-sweeping is cancelled both Monday night and Tuesday day.
Rules on Clearing Snow:
  • Property owners must clear snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends or three hours after sunrise if the snow ends overnight. Failure to comply can result in a fine issued by PWD’s Code Enforcement Division.
  • Removal of snow, ice from a private property to the street or sidewalk is prohibited and can result in a fine issued by PWD’s Code Enforcement Division.
  • Do not throw snow onto the street. Fines associated with improper removal of snow can be found here.

Safety Tips
  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to symptoms. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly when you stop exertion.
  • Snow piles can make navigating intersections dangerous for walkers and drivers, please take extra care when turning corners with snow piles that might limit visibility.
  • Pedestrians should use caution as visibility will be diminished due to blowing and drifting of the snow caused by high winds.
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should be sure to use their home heating systems wisely and safety, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear any household exhaust pipes of snow. For example, gas exhaust from heating system or dryer.
  • Remember to keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear.  For a map of catch basins and fire hydrants, visit
  • Please check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders and be mindful of slippery surfaces.
Helping the Homeless:
  • If you see homeless individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) coordinates a city-wide network of emergency shelters, outreach providers, city agencies and first responders to assist those in need of shelter.
  • Emergency shelters are open 24 hours and will accept any person in need. Men can access shelters through 112 Southampton Street, and women should go to the Woods-Mullen Shelter at 794 Massachusetts Ave. BPHC and the City are working closely with shelter providers to ensure that no client is without shelter, food, resources, and a warm respite from the cold.
  • Emergency shelters are open 24 hours and will accept any person in need.
  • During extreme cold weather, street outreach teams operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day. Find more information  here.
Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and utilize the 311 call center for non-emergency related issues. Please follow @CityofBoston and visit for the latest updates.