1.   How are we going to pay the massive bill for snow and ice removal? For cities and towns running in the red – and most are – it will mean carrying any deficit over to the next fiscal year. This piece of perfectly acceptable bookkeeping means localities big and small are able to continue funding snow removal. But it also means that when the next fiscal year begins in July, extra funds for almost anything new will be in short supply. Don’t forget, the Commonwealth itself is already running a three-quarters-of-a-billion dollar deficit. Most things reliant on state funds were already facing a squeeze. Now that squeeze will be even more intense.

2.   What about the MBTA? That’s a very big question that defies a simple answer. The T has been a troubled agency for many years. One the one hand, Beacon Hill has chronically underfunded it. On the other hand, union contracts stand in the way of what many think are needed reforms, such as putting repairs out to bid. It appears that the crippling series of storms has moved fixing and reforming the transit authority to the top of Governor Baker’s agenda.  In better times, it would be a chore. But with the budget deficit, it will prove to be a daunting task.

3.   Should I be worried about the governor declaring a state of emergency? No. It’s a good thing. This administrative action allows Massachusetts to seek help – often in the form of borrowed equipment – from neighboring states with which it has mutual assistance pacts.

4.   Will school children be required to attend extra sessions to make up for all the class time they have missed due to snow days? Yes. But the form this takes is a work in progress. Among the options: adding time to the existing day; attending class on Patriots Day/Bunker Hill Day; cancelling or shortening the April vacation. None of these are perfect, but until someone comes up with a better idea, that’s what’s on the table.

5.  What’s the most common problem faced by cities and towns. That’s easy, removing snow banks.

6.   Why can’t authorities just dump the snow in Boston Harbor or Massachusetts Bay? Some communities – Lawrence, Lowell, and Marblehead, to name just three -- are already doing to. Boston is expected to seek permission to follow suit. Dumping plowed snow, which is tinged with chemicals, into the ocean violates environmental regulations that keep our harbors clean. Waivers must be sought and are granted only under extreme conditions.

7.   What should I be worried about? Your roof. Buildings with flat roofs should be cleared, if – that is – they can hold the extra weight of people and equipment to do so. Pushing from a window can often clear residential roofs, especially porches. It is unsafe to get out onto any sloping roof. The safest, but most costly option, is to hire a professional.

8.  Can we expect any relief  from the weather? No respite is in sight – at least for several days. The National Weather Service forecasts more snow for Thursday and Friday. As of yet, there are no warnings of heavy accumulations. Perhaps even more problematical, are the expected temperatures, which are said to remain below freezing. This means that natural melting will be inhibited. What we see for snow is what we’ve got for a while.