Snowstorm snarls highways, leaves thousands powerless in Northeast

By Allison Finch,

As the last full week of January got underway, a winter storm brought heavy snow to the interior Northeast late Sunday and into Monday.

Despite the ideal skiing conditions the snow created across the Northeast, it also brought treacherous travel to many states, cut power to thousands and forced school closures schools from New York to Maine.


Before 9 a.m. local time Monday morning, the New Hampshire State Police officers had responded to more than 25 crashes and vehicles off the road. On Interstate 93, officers responded to a rollover crash near Londonderry, a town just north of the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. Troopers said injuries were reported with the crash.

The interstate speed limit was lowered to 45 mph across New Hampshire as the snow and ice created slick roadways and poor visibility.

New Hampshire State Police on the scene of a rollover crash on Interstate 93 north, near exit 5, in Londonderry, Vt., on Monday. Photo courtesy of New Hampshire State Police

"Leave yourself extra travel time to get to your destination this morning and clear the snow and ice from your vehicle prior to driving," the New Hampshire State Police wrote on Twitter.

New Hampshire State Police officers responded to more than 25 crashes and vehicles off the road throughout the state Monday.

In Maine, the number of crashes and vehicles off the road had climbed to 29 by 9 a.m., according to the Maine State Police.

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"Drivers driving too fast for road conditions are causing people to crash and slide off the road," the Maine State Police wrote on Twitter. "Drivers need to slow down and use caution if they must drive."

A speed restriction of 45 mph was put in place for a section of Interstate 95 in Maine as a preventive Sunday night.

The Massachusetts State Police also put a speed restriction in place for parts of Interstate 90. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation had at least 528 pieces of snow removal equipment deployed across the state on Monday morning.

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By then, snowfall totals reached the 1-foot mark in parts of the Northeast. In Warrensburg, Vt., southwest of Montpelier, 12 inches of snow fell. Warrensburg, N.Y., about an hour north of Albany, measured 9.5 inches of snow. In Stratford, N.Y., located between Albany and Syracuse, 11.5 inches of snow fell.


In Windsor, N.H., west of Concord, 10 inches of snow fell and in Penobscot, Maine, which is a coastal town located in the northern half of the state, 9.9 inches of snow fell.

The heavy, wet snow that fell across the interior Northeast weighed down tree limbs and power lines, and by Monday morning, power outages climbed into the thousands for New Hampshire and Maine. In New Hampshire, more than 35,000 customers woke without electricity, and in Maine, just over 25,000 customers were without power as of mid-morning Monday, according to PowerOutage.US.

Just after noon, power outages in Massachusetts climbed over 10,000. Most of the power outages came from Berkshire, Franklin and Worcester counties, located in the western third of the state.

As the snow continued to fall during the morning commute on Monday, several school districts across the Northeast closed for the day. In Massachusetts, nearly 20 school districts closed for a snow day across the state, the Boston Globe reported.

In New York, numerous schools opened under a "two-hour delay" while others closed for the day. Instead of canceling Monday classes, several universities in Albany, N.Y., opted for all classes to be remote due to the inclement weather, WNYT reported.


Universities aren't the only schools opting for classes to be remote during inclement weather, either. As virtual learning took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, some educators decided snow days are now unnecessary.

One thing that was not canceled due to the inclement weather was the NFL playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y. Crews shoveled the snow off the goal line before the game started, but as the snow continued to fall during the game, crews were back out before the start of each period to clear off the field for the players. The players and bundled-up fans didn't seem to mind the snow during the game.

As the sun set and darkness closed in on Buffalo during the third period of the game, the sky illuminated an eerie blue hue. In a photo of the stadium from afar, the arena's spotlights can be seen lighting up the field, but a dark blue sky covered the outside of the arena.

AccuWeather meteorologists say that snow lovers will be in luck across the Northeast this week. Although the snow drought is expected to continue across parts of the I-95 corridor, another storm is expected to bring more snow to the interior Northeast later this week.


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