A winter storm unleashed more than a foot of wet, heavy snow on parts of Maine and New Hampshire, creating a messy commute, closing schools and leaving more than 10,000 homes and businesses in the dark at its peak Thursday morning.
All told, a series of storms have dumped 3 feet or more of snow on parts of the region.
The hardest hit towns in the latest onslaught were on the Maine-New Hampshire border, which received 10 to 16 inches of snow overnight, said James Brown, meteorologist from the National Weather Service. The biggest tallies included 18 inches in Sanford and 16 inches in Fryeburg, both in Maine, he said.
The heavy snow weighed down trees and snapped limbs, leading to power outages in the two New England states. Central Maine Power alone reported more than 14,000 homes and businesses were in the dark late Thursday morning.
While some schools closed, others delayed opening, including Jackson Grammar School in Jackson, New Hampshire, sparing a fourth day of at-home assignments for students called "blizzard bag" days.
"Teachers are feeling like the delays, cancellations and early dismissals are impacting the delivery of curriculum this year. However, many families in our school community are skiers and the children love the snow play, so in general most folks are not 'sick of snow,' at least not yet," Principal Gayle Dembowski said.
Forecasters said the good news for people weary of the winter weather is an outlook that includes no more storms over the next week or longer.
"It'll be a much needed break," said Lesley Jones, the public works director in Augusta, Maine. She told the Kennebec Journal that the city workers will need two to three weeks to catch up.