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Travel Ban Ends, MBTA May Be Down Until Monday

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A statewide driving ban across Massachusetts ended at 4 p.m. Saturday as the Blizzard of 2013 left New England.

Gov. Deval Patrick issued the travel ban on Friday because the blizzard made road conditions treacherous and there were severe concerns about safety.

Public transportation remains unavailable. The MBTA, which shut down Friday at 3:30 p.m., said on Saturday that the storm caused major issues for them, and service will not return until Monday.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones Reports

“Our goal is to restore service for Monday,” MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said in a tweet. “Crews (are) working around the clock to clear tracks, facilities, and maintain equipment.”

Part of the problem was a communications tower in Quincy that was knocked out of service, preventing communication with MBTA field crews. Fortunately, the tower has been restored and is helping the clean up process along.

The commuter rail is similarly stalled, but the use of the MBCR’s new “snow jet” is expediting the process. The equipment uses a jet engine to simultaneously melt and blow snow out of the way.

“It’s helping enormously because if you don’t have that type of equipment, as you can see, it’s all hand shoveling and it just takes forever to do,” said Bob Johnson, the MBCR’s Chief Engineer.

Logan Airport opened a runway on Saturday night, but says no flights will be coming in until Sunday. Operations had to shut down overnight because of whiteout conditions and more than 2 feet of snow. Travelers should contact their airlines to check on flights for Sunday.

Amtrak will have limited service between Boston and New York City.

More than 274,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts late Saturday afternoon, many of them along the coast.

Check: Mass. Snow Totals

The National Weather Service said 24.9 inches of snow fell in Boston, not enough to break the city’s 2003 record of 27.6 inches, but enough to move into fifth place on the city’s all-time list. A wind gust of 76 mph was recorded at Logan Airport.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope Reports

Two storm-related deaths have been reported in Massachusetts. A 13-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest in Roxbury after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in a snowed-in car.  He later passed away, according to the Boston Fire Department. A second carbon monoxide incident killed a young man in Mattapan.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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