Northeast in sights of another winter blast of snow, winds

AP News
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Posted: Feb 12, 2017 10:37 PM
Northeast in sights of another winter blast of snow, winds

Another winter blast of snow and strong winds moved into the Northeast on Sunday to the delight of some and the consternation of others, just days after the biggest storm of the season dumped up to 19 inches of snow in the region.

Winter storm warnings were in effect into Monday from upstate New York to Maine, where blizzard conditions and 2 feet of snow are possible. Other snowfall forecasts ranged from up to 20 inches in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to up to 11 inches in Boston to up to 7 inches in Hartford, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island.

Wind gusts of more than 50 mph, coastal flooding and power outages could hit parts of the region. A blizzard watch was in effect on Cape Cod, with a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet possible, according to the National Weather Service.

"It is a dangerous storm because of high winds, low visibility and heavy snow," said Lenore Correia, a weather service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. "It's a big snowstorm, but nothing we haven't seen before either."

Roads were slick. Schools across the region announced they would be closed Monday. More than 1,300 flights in the U.S. were canceled and more than 6,000 were delayed, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.

It was a stark contrast to record warmth elsewhere. In southwest Oklahoma, the temperature reached 99 degrees Saturday to tie a record for the highest February temperature set in 1918.

In Bedford, Massachusetts, a small plane with five people aboard aborted takeoff and slid off a runway Sunday at Hanscom Field about 20 miles northwest of Boston. The plane was headed to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. No one was injured. It wasn't immediately clear if the weather played a role.

A terminal at Boston's Logan International Airport was briefly evacuated due to high levels of carbon monoxide believed to be caused by a snow-melting machine. Massachusetts State Police said Terminal C was "vented" and returned to normal operations a short time later.

While many people were still weary from cleaning up from Thursday's storm, others relished the thought of more powder.

Tina Fuller, of Waltham, Massachusetts, decided to walk about 15 minutes to her local grocery store Sunday to get some sauce and cheese to make lasagna.

"I could have drove, but you know what? I wanted to enjoy the snow," the 60-year-old nurse's aide said. "It's very quiet. Sometimes the snow brings that peace. It's almost like God told everybody to take a rest. With all the things happening in the world, why not enjoy these days?"

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh asked people to be careful driving into the city and shoveling the wet, heavy snow. He also urged people to clear off fire hydrants and help neighbors.

The speed limit on the MassPike was lowered to 40 mph from the New York border to the Worcester area. Speed limits also were reduced in New Jersey on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike on Sunday amid a mix of rain, sleet and snow.

Officials across northern New England stressed caution to thrill-seekers looking to make the most out of the heavy snow, especially after two fatal accidents Saturday at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

"While the heavy snow from our recent winter storm provides for optimum conditions for winter sports like snowmobiling, they also create hazards and we must be cautious," New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said.

The storm was welcome news at ski areas, which faced some of the lowest snowfall totals in years last year.

"It's the complete opposite of last year in terms of snow," said Rachael Wilkinson, director of marketing at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, Maine. "It's night and day and everyone is absolutely thrilled."

The ski area is expected to get 20 to 26 inches of snow by the end of the day Monday.

Vermont's governor declared Monday a "Powder Day" and urged winter weather enthusiasts to take advantage of all the snow. Republican Gov. Phil Scott encouraged out-of-state skiers and snowmobilers to stay an extra day or two in Vermont and take advantage of the conditions. He said in a statement that visitors can feel free to "tell their boss Vermont's Governor asked them to stay."

The Bangor Police Department in Maine took to Facebook on Sunday to offer its own take on official snowstorm advice. The department reminded people to check with their bosses before staying in and taking the day off, and to take off their ski-masks before checking in on elderly neighbors.

Those who do go out should bring a blanket, water, working flashlight, small shovel, charged cellphone, snacks and mittens — not gloves.

"Now get to the grocery store and buy things you will never need. Our economy depends on it," the department quipped.

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Associated Press photographer Steven Senne in Waltham, Massachusetts, contributed to this report.