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Warm-up finally in sight, but flooding is potential threat



Published: Wed, February 19, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

BOSTON

A speedy winter storm that blew through parts of the Great Lakes and East on Tuesday is expected to leave a trail of warmer weather and rain that should provide a respite for residents weary of weeks of bitter cold but create the potential for flooding and collapsing roofs in some areas.

Clogged storm drains could cause ponding and puddles on roads, and in Ohio, the National Weather Service said the combination of melting snow and more rain could cause significant flooding. In Michigan, where several roof collapses have been reported since January, there was concern that rain on top of snow could lead to more.

Temperatures above freezing in places where the storm passed through Tuesday should move up to the 40s to mid-50s for the rest of the week, said meteorologist John Cristantello, of the National Weather Service in New York.

Despite the warming and some expected rain today and Friday, flooding will not be a concern in New England, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the weather service in Taunton, Mass.

“The snow can handle a lot of rain,” he said. “It’s not like we’re looking at temperatures into the upper 50s and mid-60s. The snow’s not going to all melt away all at once. By next week, we’ll be back down to normal and below-normal temperatures.”

The storm took thundersnow to Pittsburgh and areas northeast of the city. Pennsylvania Turnpike officials reduced speed limits along the entire 360-mile highway system but later lifted most of them.

The latest storm came days after the Southeast and Northeast were paralyzed with heavy snow, ice and massive power outages. It dumped about a foot of snow in parts of northern New England. Heavy snow fell Tuesday afternoon and picked up in intensity as the evening commute began.

In New Hampshire, 12 inches of snow were reported in New Boston, and there were 10 in Nashua and other places. Nashua, one of the state’s biggest cities, banned parking on streets until 5 a.m. today.

On Monday, several inches of snow fell across the Great Lakes, causing Chicago’s two airports to cancel more than 1,000 flights. The National Weather Service said moderating temperatures would result in snow melt and possible flooding in northern Illinois.


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