By Bob Salsberg and Denise Lavoie
BOSTON — Its winds howling at more than 70 mph, the Blizzard of 2015 slammed Boston and surrounding parts of New England on Tuesday with none of the mercy it unexpectedly showed New York City, piling up more than 2 feet of snow.
The storm punched out a 40-to-50-foot section of a seawall in Marshfield, Massachusetts, badly damaging a vacant home. In Newport, Rhode Island, it toppled a 110-foot replica of a Revolutionary War sailing vessel in dry dock, breaking its mast and puncturing its hull.
The blizzard’s force and relentlessness stunned even winter-hardened New Englanders.
“It’s a wicked storm,” Jeff Russell said as he fought a mounting snowdrift threatening to cover a window at his home in Scarborough, Maine.
The snow in New England began Monday evening and continued most of Tuesday. A blizzard warning for Boston ended Tuesday evening as the snow tapered off, but one remained in effect for the south coast, Cape Cod and nearby islands.
The area also was dealing with bitter cold: The low in Boston on Wednesday is expected to be 10 degrees, with wind chill minus 5, and forecasters said it will not get above freezing for the next week or so.
The Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor of more than 35 million people had braced for a paralyzing blast Monday evening and into Tuesday after forecasters warned of a storm of potentially historic proportions.
The weather lived up to its billing in New England and on New York’s Long IslandBut in the New York City area, the snowfall wasn’t all that bad, falling short of a foot. By Tuesday morning, buses and subways were starting to run again, and driving bans there and in New Jersey had been lifted.
The glancing blow left forecasters apologizing and politicians defending their near-total shutdown on travel. Some commuters grumbled, but others sounded a better-safe-than-sorry note and even expressed sympathy for the weatherman.
“I think it’s like the situation with Ebola: If you over-cover, people are ready and prepared, rather than not giving it the attention it needs,” said Brandon Bhajan, a New York security guard.
National Weather Service director Louis Uccellini said his agency should have done a better job of communicating the uncertainty in its forecast.