February 9, 2013

11-year-old, four other deaths attributed to storm

Meanwhile, about 650,000 customers across New England still have no power.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — New Englanders began the back-breaking job of digging out from as much as 3 feet of snow Saturday and emergency crews used snowmobiles to reach shivering motorists stranded overnight on New York's Long Island after a howling storm swept through the Northeast.

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Cars are parked along the Eastern Promenade due to the Portland parking ban during a blizzard in Portland Saturday morning on February 9, 2013.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

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Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans A man blows snow from his driveway on Bartlett Street in Waterville as Winter Storm Nemo hammers central Maine early Saturday morning.

Staff photo/Michael G. Seamans

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About 650,000 homes and businesses were left without electricity, and some could be cold and dark for days. Roads across the New York-to-Boston corridor of roughly 25 million people were impassable. Cars were entombed by drifts. Some people found the wet, heavy snow packed so high against their homes they couldn't get their doors open.

"It's like lifting cement. They say it's 2 feet, but I think it's more like 3 feet," said Michael Levesque, who was shoveling snow in Quincy, Mass., for a landscaping company.

In Providence, where the drifts were 5 feet high and telephone lines encrusted with ice and snow drooped under the weight, Jason Harrison labored for nearly three hours to clear his blocked driveway and front walk and still had more work to do. His snowblower, he said, "has already paid for itself."

At least five deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the overnight snowstorm, including an 11-year-old boy in Boston who was overcome by carbon monoxide as he sat in a running car to keep warm while his father shoveled Saturday morning.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee cautioned that while the snow had stopped, the danger hadn't passed: "People need to take this storm seriously, even after it's over. If you have any kind of heart condition, be careful with the shoveling."

Blowing with hurricane-force winds of more than 80 mph in places, the storm hit hard along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between New York City and Maine. Milford., Conn., got 38 inches of snow, and Portland, Maine, recorded 31.9, shattering a 1979 record. Several communities in New York and across New England got more than 2 feet.

Still, the storm was not as bad as some of the forecasts led many to fear, and not as dire as the Blizzard of '78, used by longtime New Englanders as the benchmark by which all other winter storms are measured.

By midday Saturday, the National Weather Service reported preliminary snowfall totals of 24.9 inches in Boston, or fifth on the city's all-time list. Bradley Airport near Hartford, Conn., got 22 inches, for the No. 2 spot in the record books there.

Concord, N.H., got 24 inches of snow, the second-highest amount on record and a few inches short of the reading from the great Blizzard of 1888.

In New York, where Central Park recorded 11 inches, not even enough to make the Top 10 list, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city "dodged a bullet" and its streets were "in great shape." The three major airports — LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, N.J. — were up and running by late morning after shutting down the evening before.

Most of the power outages were in Massachusetts, where more than 400,000 homes and businesses were left in the dark. In Rhode Island, a peak of around 180,000 customers lost power, or about one-third of the state.

By nightfall, utility crews had started to make significant progress in restoring power and bringing those numbers down.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island imposed travel bans until 4 p.m. to keep cars off the road and let plows do their work, and the National Guard helped clear highways in Connecticut, where more than 240 auto accidents were reported. The Guardsmen rescued about 90 motorists, including a few who had hypothermia and were taken to hospitals.

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Additional Photos

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Snow blows and drifts over the benches along the Eastern Promenade during the blizzard on Munjoy Hill in Portland onSaturday morning February 9, 2013.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

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Cars sit buried by snowdrifts in a parking lot in Southington, Conn., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, after a heavy snowfall and high winds from a storm dumped more than 2 feet of snow on New England. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)

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Alexandria Brahler, right, holds onto Colin Matthews, as they struggle against strong winds and blowing snow Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 in Portland, Maine. Officials are cautioning residents to stay off the roads in Maine, where Portland set an all-time snowfall record and blowing snow continues to reduce visibility on the coast. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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Skiers put fresh tracks on Quarry Road as snow falls in Waterville on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

Michael G. Seamans / Staff Photographer

  


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