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The blizzard is over, but Boston still faces the herculean task of disposing of hundreds of thousands of tons of snow.

The city outlined a plan Wednesday to attack the biggest piles of snow with two industrial snow-melting machines, each able to turn 150 tons an hour into water. That work will begin Thursday, said Michael Dennehy, the public works commissioner.

Boston has also secured two parcels of land to be used as "snow farms," one along the waterfront and one near a golf course, where snow will be trucked and piled up, Mayor Marty Walsh told reporters.

It's not melting on its own any time soon: The air temperature Wednesday afternoon was 20 degrees. The storm dumped 26 inches of snow on Boston and 31 inches on South Boston. It was the sixth-largest snowstorm on record in the city and the largest ever in January.

For safety reasons, schools will remain closed Thursday, Walsh said, because "I have grave concerns about the status of our sidewalks and the well-being of students walking to and from their bus stops."

One problem: People are shoveling snow off lawns, driveways and sidewalks onto streets that have already been plowed, forcing the plows to double back on their work. Walsh encouraged people to stop it.

The mayor ordered city agencies to set a good example by clearing their own properties of snow. He said he would publicize those who didn't.

"This is an all-hands-on-deck effort," he said.


— Erin McClam