BOSTON — Call it Boston's latest Big Dig.
Residents of Massachusetts woke up Wednesday to cars buried in several feet of snow, and secondary roads that remained covered in snow and narrowed by high snowbanks.
But life is slowly returning to normal after a blizzard that left 3 feet of snow in some towns.
A ban on nonessential travel was lifted and Boston-area highways filled with traffic Wednesday. Boston ended its parking ban at 5 p.m. and the state's emergency declaration ended at 5:30 p.m.
The MBTA resumed rail service, although weather-related delays on almost all subway and commuter rail lines were reported. Buses also started running again, although many routes were delayed or detoured because of snow.
Logan International Airport reopened for incoming flights at about 8 a.m., and Amtrak service out of Boston resumed.
'IT'S JUST SNOW'
Antoinette Delmonico of Somerville didn't think the storm was that big a deal as she shoveled in front of her home Wednesday.
"I was expecting it. We were due. We just got it all at once," she said. "We're pretty fortunate. Other parts of the state got hit much harder, it sounds. And we didn't have any power issues, thankfully. It's just snow."
Neighbor Steve Douglass worked on a 3-foot high wall of snow blocking his driveway.
"My experience from years of living on a busy road is that it all comes into your driveway when the plows come through," he said.
The National Weather Service reported that the 33.5 inches of snow that fell in Worcester is the highest amount recorded since 1905.
The 24.4 inches at Logan Airport is the sixth-highest in recorded history. The record is 27.6 inches in 2003.
The weather service confirmed Wednesday that the storm was officially a blizzard. A blizzard is defined as a storm in which falling or blowing snow reduces visibility to below one-quarter of a mile with winds that gust to 35 mph or more.
According to unofficial snowfall totals reported to the weather service, the towns of Hudson, Auburn and Lunenburg all received exactly 3 feet of snow, the most in the state.
The misery isn't over. Temperatures on Wednesday started in the teens and weren't expected to rise beyond the mid-20s, although the sun started shining in some part of Massachusetts.
Forecasters say more snow — although not a major storm — is expected later in the week.
Electric utilities were reporting about 1,300 homes and businesses still without power at Wednesday night.
NStar had about 180 customers in the dark, mostly on Cape Cod.
National Grid had about 1,200 outages, mostly on Nantucket. That was an improvement over the height of the storm on Tuesday when virtually the entire island, including its hospital, was without power.
The utilities combined have almost 2.5 million customers in Massachusetts.
To the chagrin of parents and delight of schoolchildren, many schools in central and eastern Massachusetts remained closed, and many including those in Boston and Worcester will be closed on Thursday.
Kids were taking advantage.
Claire Flaherty of Medford was out with her two boys — Niall, 2, and Declan, 7 — and several other families from her neighborhood, sledding down the wide, gently sloping hills on the Tufts University campus.
The hills have long been popular with families, so much so that the university had crews clearing the steps leading to the top of the hills and placing hay bales around tree trunks for added safety.
Flaherty said the outdoor activity was crucial after a day of cabin fever.
CIVIL LIBERTIES CONCERN
Gov. Charlie Baker said he wrestled with whether to institute a travel ban during the blizzard but that it ultimately "worked pretty much as we hoped" it would.
The governor said Wednesday that he and members of his administration tried to strike a balance between public safety and civil liberties.
He noted that the ban on nonessential travel spared state police from having to deal with countless minor accidents and made it easier for plows to clear highways.
He said the state came out of the historic blizzard in "relatively good shape."
Baker visited the South Shore and Nantucket, two hard-hit areas.
A 53-year-old New Bedford died after suffering some sort of cardiac event while shoveling snow Tuesday night, Mayor Jon Mitchell said.
The man apparently had a pre-existing heart condition, Mitchell said.
His name was not made public.
Associated Press writer Phil Marcelo contributed to this report from Medford and Somerville.