With the region in line for several inches of snow Monday, officials in Worcester and other Central Massachusetts communities kicked off the week by closing schools for the day, many for the first time this winter that until now, has been noticeably mild and has left the white stuff in short supply.
"Due to expected snow accumulation during the afternoon dismissal and likely road conditions, the Worcester Public Schools will be closed on Monday," the Worcester Public Schools wrote in an announcement Sunday evening.
Classes and evening activities in Gardner, the Quabbin Regional School District, the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District and several other north county districts were called off for Monday.
The heaviest of the snow fell Monday afternoon, with the National Weather Service calling for Worcester to receive 4 to 6 inches, and communities north of the city up to 8 inches before the storm wound down early in the evening.
A parking ban in Worcester went into effect at 2 p.m. Monday.
According to the city, during a ban: "Parking is prohibited on either side of main arteries, emergency and bus routes and streets in the downtown area critical to the flow of traffic. On all other streets, parking is only permitted on the odd numbered side of the street, unless otherwise posted."
Parking at municipal garages is free during a ban.
Several communities in the northern part of the region were experiencing power outages, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), due to the heavy, wet snow weighing down tree limbs and power lines.
As of 8 p.m., MEMA reported more than 21,000 customers without power statewide.
At one point, Phillipston led the way with 99% of the town without electricity, while 63% of Royalston remained in the dark.
As the snow began to intensify Monday afternoon, a vehicle went into Jordan Pond in Shrewsbury.
According to the Shrewsbury Fire Department, the driver was able to escape the vehicle and sustained no injuries. The vehicle was pulled from the pond.
Before this latest snow, the season measurement for the city was 8.7 inches, far below the mid-January average of 27.5 inches.
More snow is expected Wednesday.
Telegram & Gazette reporter Marco Cartolano contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: With snow looming, Worcester calls off school for Monday