Mayor Walsh cancels school in Boston, declares snow emergency

Mayor Martin J. Walsh canceled school Wednesday and ordered a parking ban as he faces his first major snow storm overnight Tuesday with a blizzard bearing down on eastern Massachusetts.

Forecasters expect the storm to blanket Boston with 8 to 10 inches of snow and bring blizzard conditions to Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the islands.

“Twelve days into my administration I did not want to having a press conference about snow, but here we are,” Walsh told a throng of journalists packed in the lobby outside his office in City Hall. “But I am today.”

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The new mayor made this vow: “We’re ready,” he said. “We have a good plan in place.”

Four hundred trucks and plows began treating roads at 1 p.m., Walsh said, and 500 pieces of snow removal equipment will be deployed this evening.

Police will be escorting Boston schools buses. Walsh said after school programs will be canceled.

The snow emergency and parking will go into effect at 6 p.m. and cars will start getting towed off snow routes at 8 p.m., Walsh said.

He urged people to take public transportation, reminded residents to clean snow out of tail pipes of vehicles, and asked people to shovel out hydrants and check on elderly neighbors.

“Our city is prepared,” Walsh said. “Our crews are ready.”

Former mayor Thomas M. Menino had a “pretty good system in place” for removing snow, Walsh said, and he planned to follow the same plan.

Walsh canceled a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., to monitor the city’s response to the storm. He had been scheduled to attend the winter meetings of US Conference of Mayors. Walsh had been scheduled to sit down with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and attend a series of meetings at the White House.

“It’s important to be here during a snowstorm potentially of this magnitude,” Walsh said. “It’s important for me to be in the city of Boston at this time. If something goes wrong, I need to be here for it. To just play it safe, I canceled the entire trip.”