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READING STORM CENTER: 'Remember to Ration Your Chocolate Supplies'

Check back here throughout the storm for updates on what's happening in Reading.

The first storm of 2014 is underway. (File Photo)
The first storm of 2014 is underway. (File Photo)
Updated Friday at 11:31 a.m.: The Burbank YMCA wants to help you take advantage of the snow day. 

Check out the facility's Patch post that details a variety of offers for Friday, including one-day passes to enjoy a variety of activities.

Updated Friday at 10:35 a.m.: 
Some businesses will remain closed on Friday. According to an update by the Chocolate Truffle, it is one of them.

"Due to the storm, the store will be closed. Remember to ration your chocolate supplies," the business posted lightheartedly.

Updated Thursday at 10:15 p.m.: 
To recap where things stand as of late Thursday night, there are several offices that will remain closed on Friday as a result of the first storm of 2014.

Reading Public Schools remain closed on Friday, and the Reading Public Library will also be closed until 1 p.m. on Friday. State government offices are shut down on Friday, and in Reading trash pick up will be delayed slightly, starting at 10 a.m.

According to the town website, if trash pick up is not completed on Friday it will continue on Saturday.

Updated Thursday at 7:15 p.m.: 
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced Thursday night that the state government will be shut down on Friday as a result of the storm.

In addition, Patrick said that private employers are encouraged to keep employees home for the day as well. He also warned residents to prepare for freezing temperatures.

Updated Thursday at 5:18 p.m.: 
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for parts of the state. To find out exactly where, you can click this updating map.

Updated Thursday at 1:55 p.m.: 
The Reading Police Department tweeted a community alert just before 2 p.m. on Thursday informing residents that Friday's trash pick up will be delayed. Collection will now begin at 10 a.m.

Updated Thursday at 1 p.m.: 
In addition to Reading Public Library's closure, other town offices will be shut down due to the storm as well.

According to an alert from the town, Town Hall and the Pleasant Street Center will close at 2 p.m.

Updated Thursday at 12:50 p.m.: 
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said during a press conference on Thursday that state offices will close at 3 p.m. While Patrick does recommend private businesses let their workers out early for the day, he will not be closing the state's roads.

"This is for the safety of people and for the ease of keeping up with the clearing of roads," said Patrick during a noon press conference Thursday. 

Updated Thursday at 11:53 a.m.: 
Scanner reports indicate that a crash occurred just before noon on Elderberry Lane near Main Street.

According to the report by Twitter user NorthEast Fire Alert, the crash was called in as having entrapment and possible injuries.

Updated Thursday at 10 a.m.: 
According to WBUR, flights in and out of Logan Airport are expected to end Thursday at 8:30 p.m. due to snow and will resume sometime Friday.

Updated Thursday at 9:48 a.m.: 
Reading Public Library Director Ruth Urell told Patch on Thursday morning that the library will not open on Thursday, and will remain closed until Friday at 1 p.m. because of the snow.

In addition, Urell asked resident to not return items through the book drops during the storm. The library will backdate all returns for the two days.

Updated Thursday at 9:27 a.m.: 
Massachusetts State Police are asking drivers to stay home if possible due to slick road conditions.

"Roads are just going to get more snow covered," State Police tweeted. "If you don't have to go out, stay in today. Let the plows do their job."

Accidents have been taking place around the state. In Woburn a car flipped on its side and in Randolph a car drove off the road and deep into the woods. The speed limit for a portion of the Mass Pike has been reduced to 40 MPH, State Police said.

Original Story, Thursday at 5 a.m.: Get your shovels ready, Reading. You're going to need them.

The first storm of 2014 is underway as the initial flakes began falling after midnight on Thursday. During the day on Thursday there will be some accumulation, though much of the snow will come Thursday night into Friday before the storm ends by Friday afternoon.

Below is what you need to know about this week's significant winter storm. We will be updating this storm center article throughout the storm, so be sure to check back throughout.

Storm Coverage and Tips
Current Forecasts

How much snow is Reading expected to get Thursday and Friday? Here are the projections as of Thursday at 5 a.m.

School Closed

In case you missed it, Reading Public Schools are closed for Thursday and Friday. Students won't return from winter break until Monday.

The Reading Police Department confirmed via its Twitter account just before 8 p.m. on Wednesday night that Superintendent of Schools John Doherty closed schools in advance of the storm.

Where to Park

Reading residents were already under a street parking ban that prevented them from parking on any street or municipally owned lot between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

However, during the storm residents are particularly reminded of this bylaw in order to make for safe snow removal.

"Keep off the roads and out of the way of our plows," a dispatch officer at Reading Police said on Wednesday.

According to the town's website, there are several locations in town where vehicles are able to park, provided they have a valid current year's community access sticker.
  • Pleasant Street Center Parking Lot off Parker Street from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m.
  • Harnden Yard Parking Lot off Pleasant Street from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m.
  • Brande Court Municipal Parking Lot off Haven Street: Eight parking spots on the northerly fence from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Reading High School Postponements

The Reading Memorial High School Twitter account confirmed that the snow has caused a variety of postponements.

"All RMHS Athletic Events, games, practices and rehearsals scheduled for Jan 2 have been postponed. No make up dates at this time," the Rockets account tweeted.

In a follow up tweet, the school said that the postponements for Thursday include boys hockey versus Belmont, boys swimming against Winchester, gymnastics taking on Wakefield, and wrestling versus Melrose.

Reading Emergency Contacts

  • In case of an emergency, dial 911
  • Reading Police Department - 781-944-1212
  • Reading Fire Department - 781-944-3132
  • Reading Department of Public Works - 781-942-9077
  • Reading Municipal Light Department - 781-944-1340
  • National Grid power outages: 800-465-1212
  • National Grid gas emergencies: 800-233-5325
  • Comcast: 1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278)
  • Verizon: 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966)
  • MBTA Reading station: service updates

Be sure to follow Reading Patch on Twitter and Facebook throughout the storm as we'll have ongoing updates there as well.

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