Heavy snowstorm slams New England

Jan. 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A winter storm Wednesday brought blizzard-like conditions to southern New England, fouling roads and knocking out power to thousands of people.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency, the Boston Herald reported. Snow totals ranged from more than 2 feet in Chesterfield in western Massachusetts to 5 inches in Bourne on the Cape Cod Canal.

As many as 100,000 homes and businesses were without electricity for at least part of the day. David Procopio, a state police spokesman, said visibility on the Massachusetts Turnpike was "near zero."

Conditions were much the same in Rhode Island. Snow there fell at about 3 inches an hour overnight, the Providence Journal reported.

"At times, the intensity of the storm is so difficult it's impossible to keep up," said Paul R. Annarummo, administrator of highway and bridge maintenance for the Department of Transportation and the person in charge of deploying snowplows.

In Maine, state offices closed at 3 p.m. because of the snow, and Portland sent non-essential city employees home at 2 p.m., the Portland Press-Herald said.

"I've said business is a priority, but safety is also," Gov. Paul LePage said, adding he wanted to give state employees time to get home in daylight.

New England was hit with an earlier snowstorm just after Christmas.

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