Cambridge Under Storm Local commerce impacted by blizzard

The snowstorm that hit the Northeast on Thursday drove students and visitors away from the usually packed restaurants and shops in Harvard Square, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

By noon, even before the blizzard had reached its peak, over five inches of snow and winds of 28 mph made walking in the Square a very difficult experience.

“I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t promised to meet a friend,” said Patricia Lopes, a senior at Emerson College whose phone battery died before she could get a text with the exact location of the meeting. Now, waiting in the blizzard, her pink hair had already small ice crystals forming in it. “I missed the snow last winter and was looking forward to it, but this is a little too much,” she added.

“I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t promised to meet a friend”

Local commerce was also impacted by the harsh weather. The famous Hahvahd Tour, an unofficial student-guided walk around Harvard University's Campus, was not selling tickets for the day and even Starbucks had no lines in their usually crowded lunch hours.

Out of the few people that ventured around the area by foot, many were trying to enjoy the snow day before 4 p.m, when forecasts predicted the storm’s core would hit Boston. Students Jordan Virtue and Chris Kuang, both freshman at Harvard, improvised a baseball game with snowballs and a plastic tray by the steps of Widener Library.

Outside the campus, Isabela Yan, a visiting student from China, was also heading towards the library. “Since my classes got cancelled, I brought my camera to take some winter pictures,” she said.

As snow accumulated on the streets and visibility decreased to less than a quarter-mile, less people and fewer cars ventured in the streets.

Major roads, such as Memorial Drive, along the Charles River, were almost deserted.

The only constant movement came from snowplows traveling down streets to clear a path for pedestrians and vehicles. With the storm picking up fast, though, their activity slowed down.

Over 14 inches of snow covered the area by the end of the day.


Paula Rothman/ BU News Service

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