×

Messy storm creates slippery roads

  • City of Northampton employee Dean Downer uses a snowblower to clear a walkway Wednesday in Pulaski Park. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY



Wednesday, February 07, 2018

A fast-moving winter storm swept across New England on Wednesday, bringing heavy snow that sent cars sliding.

Motorists faced slippery conditions and dozens of fender-benders were reported. In New Hampshire, heavy snow was blamed for an afternoon pileup that blocked Route 101 eastbound in Epping.

Across the region, many flights were canceled at airports, and many businesses and schools were closed.

The snow was heavy enough to cause whiteout conditions — with snowfall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour — but the storm was expected to exit the region late Wednesday, said Justin Arnott, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Maine. Widespread power outages were not expected because there was little wind associated with the snowstorm, he said.

Up to a foot of snow was forecast for an inland swath across Maine, New Hampshire and part of southern Vermont. Snow also fell in upstate New York, and parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In Hampshire County, according to National Weather Service spotters, snowfall totals ranged from 2 to 3½ inches, with most Franklin County towns reporting 4 inches. Fitchburg, with 5 inches, had the most snow in the state from the storm.

Ice created problems some parts of the Northeast and Middle Atlantic, where a jet slid off a taxiway at Baltimore Washington International Airport. No injuries were reported.

Even in northern New England, which is accustomed to getting snow, there were plenty of closings. Legislatures in Maine and New Hampshire postponed hearings on Wednesday. Maine Gov. Paul LePage ordered all government offices to close at 3 p.m.

In Vermont, highways across the state were snow covered and slippery, causing a few tractor-trailers to slide off the road.

“Everybody is kind of getting along really well,” Vermont Transportation Agency Dispatcher Greg Fox said Wednesday afternoon. “Traffic is light with all the schools closed.”

It has been a snowy season so far.

In Portland, Maine, the city had recorded 41.6 inches of snow before the latest storm, putting it nearly 5 inches above normal, officials said.