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Towing of cars on streets marked for snow emergencies

Towing of cars on streets marked for snow emergencies can begin as soon as 5 a.m. Monday, city officials warn. (Photo: Cambridge Public Works)

With eight to 12 inches of snow expected to begin falling shortly after midnight – adding to what remains from the blizzard that dumped about 20 inches of snow last week – public officials have begun taking precautions to help keep roads clear.

The National Weather Service is warning of a “major winter storm” that will last into Monday evening, with heavy snow affecting most of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and edging into northern Connecticut. That means an official federal winter storm warning from 9 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Tuesday.

“Snow will fall heavy at time Monday morning,” the service said, predicting one to two inches per hour, affecting the morning rush hour. “Hazardous travel is expected, with snow-covered roads and poor visibility.”

Blowing and drifting snow is also expected, especially along the coast, bringing visibility of a quarter-mile or less at times.

Because of the storm, Cambridge Public Schools will be closed Monday, according to a Sunday email from Lee Gianetti, the city’s director of communications and community relations.

City offices will be open, but business hours may be changed from the usual 8 p.m. closing depending on the severity of the storm, Gianetti said.
Curbside trash and recycling collection will take place as scheduled.

A snow emergency parking ban goes into effect at 5 a.m. Monday, when the city will begin towing cars it finds parked on streets with “No Parking During Snow Emergency” signs, Gianetti said.

A free off-street parking program for Cambridge residents with city-issued parking permits starts at 4 p.m. Sunday, though, letting drivers moved their cars into spots at the Galleria Mall and First Street Garage in East Cambridge; Green Street Garage in Central Square; 52 Oxford Garage near Harvard Square; 65 Waverly St., in the Area II/MIT area by Cambridgeport; and the One Kendall Square Garage.

As of Sunday afternoon – even before the ban went into effect – the Green Street Garage was reported as being full.

Here is a list and map of prohibited streets; a map of off-street parking for snow emergencies is here.

The public is encouraged to follow updates on the city’s website, on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The city will be using the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call (617) 349-4800 or (617) 349-4700 for information and sign up for parking ban notifications here.