New England gets hit with first significant snowfall of year

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 05, 2016 4:15 PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - New England got hit with its first significant snowfall of the season on Friday, with close to a foot of wet, heavy snow coating parts of northern Massachusetts, knocking out power for more than 140,000 people and snarling travel.

Officials in Massachusetts and Connecticut warned motorists to stay off roadways and the region's main airport, Boston Logan International, reporting that about one in five flights had been canceled, with service to New York most effected.

"We are concerned about tree limbs and branches coming down. We have been getting several reports of that and also are getting reports of power outages because it gets the wires down as well," said Eleanor Vallier-Talbot, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts.

"Because of the temperatures being relatively mild, from the mid-20s to around 30 (degrees Fahrenheit) there's more water content in the snow and that weighs it down."

About 89,000 home and businesses were without power in Massachusetts and 55,000 outages were reported in Connecticut, according to state officials and local utilities.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said utility crews were working to restore power to those who had lost it but noted: "We urge patience – the situation may take time to resolve."

The storm also affected some campaign events in New Hampshire, where White House candidates are furiously campaigning ahead of next week's nominating primary. Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump canceled a campaign stop, citing the storm.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Alistair Bell)