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January 22, 2013

City, Cape Ann dodge snow bullet; parking ban lifted

For the second time in three weeks, Gloucester and Cape Ann have dodged a weather bullet in the form of a predicted snowstorm.

And for the second time in three weeeks, the city and its residents have dodged a declared snow emergency and the on-street parking ban that comes with it.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk this morning called off the snow declaration and parking ban, just 13 hours after it went into effect at 8 p.m. last night — when a National Weather Service advisory included a winter storm warning and forecasts for up to eight inches of the white stuff here in Cape Ann and across much of Eastern Massachusetts.

Kirk officially called off the parking ban shortly after 9:30 a.m. today.

“Downtown Gloucester is open for business as usual, and parking is available without restriction,” the mayor said in rescinding the emergency ban.

The non-storm already marked the second time this winter that the city had issued a snow emergency declaration and parking ban — turning on its signature lights in City Hall, on Stacy Boulevard and at Flannagan’s Square to spotlight the parking restrictions — and then, with a sign of relieaf, pulled the warning back when a storm failed to materialize as expected. A similar scenario played out on Dec. 30.

National Weather Service reports indicated that the storm expected to hit the region essentially turned east late last night and shifted out to sea. Some southeastern Massachusetts comunities reported up to 5 inches of snow overnight, but Gloucester and Cape Ann received less than an inch.

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