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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Blizzard Buries New England

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (CN) - More than 650,000 people lost power and governors declared emergencies in five Northeast states as winter storm Nemo buried New England under more than 2 feet of snow.

Snow was still falling Saturday morning and was expected to continue through mid-day.

Hundreds of cars were abandoned on the Long Island Expressway; the heavily traveled I-91 corridor was all but shut down. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ordered all cars off the roads by 4 p.m. Friday and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy did the same at 5 a.m. this morning.

The orders were issued, in part, so that emergency vehicles could get through.

Some Connecticut towns along I-91, which runs through three states, from New Haven to the Canadian border, reported 3 feet of snow, with drifts up to 7 feet.

School was canceled Friday from Boston through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and thousands of flights were canceled, from New York through Maine.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage declared a "partial emergency," as the capital, Portland, got a foot of snow by midnight with another 16 inches predicted to come. There was an 11-car pileup near Falmouth.

Amtrak service across the Northeast was canceled, as were Greyhound buses.

Utilities companies canceled workers' vacations and ordered thousands of employees to be on call over the weekend.

The storm was caused by the junction of two streams of the Jet Stream: the northern, colder one, with the southern, warmer one.

Eighteen inches had fallen in southern Vermont by 7 a.m. Lesser amounts fell toward the north. Once the roads are cleared, the storm will be good for New England ski areas.

Vermonters, by and large, shrugged.

One Vermont highway manager told the Rutland Herald that the main problems he expected were from tourists.

"They come up Route 9 in Mercedes Benzes and whatever with nice summer tires and accidents happen every year," the state worker said said. "If they would drive at decent speeds for the road conditions, they would have no problems."

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