Northeast digs out from March snowstorm as ski areas revel

Associated Press


The Northeast was in dig-out mode Wednesday, a day after a treacherous storm packing strong winds and accompanying plummeting temperatures left some residents dealing with rock-hard ice and others with more than 2 feet of snow. The upshot: a late-season boost to the region’s ski areas.

The powerful nor’easter that paralyzed much of the Washington-to-Boston corridor Tuesday fell short of the predicted snowfall in many areas, but the 29.9 inches of snow that fell by Wednesday afternoon at the Burlington International Airport in Vermont was the second-most on record, about 3 inches shy of the high established in January 2010.

“Yesterday it was too tough to drive out here, but today it was perfect,” said Lindsey Poirier, who was skiing at the Pats Peak ski area Wednesday in Henniker, N.H.

Many schools in New England remain closed or had delayed openings Wednesday, giving crews time to dig out from the storm, which followed a stretch of unusually mild winter weather.

In Albany, N.Y., streets were largely cleared Wednesday morning of the almost 2 feet of snow that fell a day earlier. But many cars were still buried under thick blankets of snow.

Marisa Burgos spun her wheels in her snowy driveway in an attempt to go out and buy some gas for her snowblower.

“I was ready for spring. I really was,” Burgos said. “I want to enjoy the weather, but it’s just so hard to do that with all this snow.”

In Portland, Maine, most roads and sidewalks were cleared Wednesday, but firefighters were just getting to work digging out 1,500 hydrants. Fire Lt. Paul Marshall and two other firefighters were responsible for digging out 120 to 180 hydrants that were buried by snowplows.

“I’ll be a sweaty mess, but everyone’s in it together. Everyone’s in the same boat. So it builds a weird camaraderie,” Marshall said.

Most people heeded warnings to stay off the roads, preventing the multicar pileups typically seen after a bad storm, but there were still deaths. A 16-year-old girl was killed when she lost control of her car on a snowy road and crashed into a tree in Gilford, N.H., police said. In East Hartford, Conn., an elderly man died after being struck by a snowplow truck. And, in Longmeadow, Mass., a public-works employee was killed after the snowplow he was driving was hit by an Amtrak plow train clearing tracks.

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