July 14, 2015 / 3:59 PM / 2 years ago

Boston's winter 'nightmare' over as snow heap finally melts

BOSTON (Reuters) - The last vestige of Boston's record winter snowfall - a heap of filthy snow in a parking lot near the harbor - melted under a hot July sun on Tuesday, leading the governor of Massachusetts to declare the end of the city's winter "nightmare."

The pile in the city's historic Seaport District had at one point stretched up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) high, but as temperatures climbed in July, five months after the last major blizzard, the garbage-filled heap finally turned into a puddle.

"I'm pleased to announce ... the pile officially melted today," Mayor Martin Walsh wrote on Twitter.

"Our nightmare is officially over!" Governor Charlie Baker added in another Twitter post.

Boston was hit with 9 feet (2.76 meters) of snow this winter following a parade of harsh storms that paralyzed the city, knocking out a previous 1995-1996 winter record by one inch (2.5 cm), according to the National Weather Service.

The city had taken to plowing excess snow into unused parking lots, called "snow farms," to help clear local streets and walkways, which were often walled off by snow mounds towering above head level.

Walsh had urged citizens to wager when the stubborn Seaport pile would finally melt, and is expected to announce the winner at a City Hall Plaza party on Wednesday morning. The person with the closest guess is due to win a meeting with the mayor.

Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Will Dunham

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