Home > massachusetts and new england, weather & climate > Another Day, Another Foot of Snow

Another Day, Another Foot of Snow

Thursday, January 27, 2011, 11:51 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Mother nature, as the saying goes, is a b!tch. Over at AccuWeather, meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski talks about today’s storm, which apparently broke records in the Boston area and caused some problems. A few dozen miles west of the Hub, in my neck of the woods, we got about a foot of snow, and higher temperatures than we had for the last couple storms have made it heavier to shovel. It’s supposed to get up to the freezing point today, which means a bit of melting and, tonight when it cools down again, freezing.

I haven’t heard of any other major issues like the roof collapse mentioned by Pydynowski (more here), but I’m having a minor roof problem of my own: a leak into my kitchen. The timing is good, I suppose, since I’ll be moving out soon and the landlord can get repair workers in without having to worry about someone living there. I know from the experience of growing up in an old house that getting such problems fixed can be inconvenient, to say the least. I look forward to moving into my own house, immediately replacing the roof, and hopefully avoiding similar problems for the next 25 years or so.

The former Hale Drug building, Shrewsbury, MA

The former Hale Drug building, Shrewsbury, MA

The Lynn roof collapse reminds me of something that happened in my town about 40 years ago. The Hale Drug store in Shrewsbury center was a free-standing brick building with a flat roof, presumably designed to withstand the weight of a winter’s worth of snow. Everything was fine until one winter day when pharmacist Charlie Hale heard some strange creaking noises. That he immediately and correctly guessed what was happening saved many lives. He started yelling for customers and employees to leave the store immediately, even swearing at those who seemed reluctant to heed his warning. The building was vacated just in time: as Charlie literally pushed the last customer out the door, the entire roof caved in, the force pushing him out as if it were an explosion. When the Hale family rebuilt the store, it was with a gambrel roof.

By the way, the old Hale Drug is now a Rite-Aid, and when I did a Google search on “Rite Aid Shrewsbury” in order to grab the above Street View image, I found something amusingly coincidental. The Rite-Aid in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, is at 557 Main Street, and in the town of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, there is a Rite-Aid at 577 South Main Street. What are the chances?

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