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January 21, 2013

City parking ban starts at 8 p.m. as snowstorm approaches

A storm expected to bring 8 or more inches of snow to Gloucester and Cape Ann by the time it ends sometime Tuesday has led Mayor Carolyn Kirk to declare a snow emergency — and enact a street parking ban that goes with it — beginning tonight.

The ban, which goes into effect beginning at 8 p.m., is set to continue through 8 p.m. Tuesday as Department of Public crews and contracted plow drivers carry out efforts to clear the city’s streets.

The emergency and parking ban is the second of the winter, though the first such declaration, issued the night of Dec. 30, was recalled just 12 hours later when the snowstorm fell far short of weather forecasters’ predictions.

Gloucester and Cape Ann residents and businesses may not be so lucky this time. While higher amounts of accumulation are being predicted for Cape Cod and along Massachusetts’ South Shore, the coastline north of Boston is being eyed for 7 to 11 inches or snow or up to a foot of the white stuff. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning covering the time period from 5 p.m. today through 1 p.m. Tuesday. The weather advisory noted that snowfall could be heavy at times, bringing “slick roadways and poor visibility,” with winds holding at 20 miles per hour and gusts of up to 40 mph or higher.

“Violators of this emergency declaration are subject to ticketing and towing at the owners expense,” Kirk said in her prepared statement, which was issued shortly after 6 p.m. She added that residents may park in municipal parking lots overnight and throughout the emergency order.

“All residents are reminded that they are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property,” the mayor said. “Your cooperation during this parking ban is necessary for efficient and safe snow removal efforts.”

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