Walsh: Snow emergency will end at 8 a.m. in Boston

Storm cleanup on Pope's Hill: In an image posted on Twitter this morning, Steve Bicketon, Jr. noted the streets are plowed down to pavement.Storm cleanup on Pope's Hill: In an image posted on Twitter this morning, Steve Bicketon, Jr. noted the streets are plowed down to pavement.The City of Boston's snow emergency and parking ban will end at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Mayor Walsh's office announced this morning at 5:45 a.m. The winter storm— the first significant snowfall of the Walsh administration— resulted in about 7 inches so far. While schools are closed, City Hall will be open today as a "regular business day." A winter weather warning remains in effect through 1 p.m. and a deep freeze is expected to set in through the weekend.

All city of Boston community centers will be open today from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for children ages 7 and older. Adults will be asked to complete a short intake form when dropping children off.

A winter storm that was expected to bring as much as 10 inches of snow to the city overnight prompted the first snow emergency declaration of the Walsh administration. The Mayor declared a snow emergency and parking ban to begin Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Boston Public Schools canceled afternoon activities today and schools will be closed Wednesday. Walsh said that work crews began pre-treating roadways at 1 p.m. and more than 400 pieces of equipment would be deployed for the storm, set to begin this afternoon and last through Wednesday morning.

“Today I’m asking for the public’s help," Walsh said in a statement. "Please stay off the roads while our public works crews clear our streets, use public transportation whenever possible tonight and tomorrow, and look out for one another as temperatures drop this week.”

With possible blizzard conditions threatening parts of the state, Gov. Deval Patrick postponed his scheduled State of the Commonwealth address and immediately send state workers home in advance of the snowfall.

“We are expecting the regular commute to be treacherous this evening because of the change in the direction and speed of the snow, so we are sending state employees home now,” Patrick said just after 3 p.m., encouraging private sector employers to do the same.

Patrick said the evolving forecast from the National Weather Service now calls for 10 to 14 inches of snow across much of Massachusetts and “bitter cold,” with the worst conditions expected in southeastern Massachusetts. The governor said the flakes were already falling on the Cape and Island and as far north as Brockton.

“We don’t expect this to be a long winter shut-in,” Patrick said.

During declared snow emergencies in Boston, discounted parking is available at several parking lots and garages to cars that display Boston resident parking stickers. The Mayor's 24-Hour Hotline will have additional staff on-hand and residents with weather-related questions or concerns, including down power lines, down trees or icy conditions, should call 617 635-4500. For updates & questions via Twitter, use @NotifyBoston, follow #bosnow.