Coastal Storm Pelts Northeast; Wind Blows Snow in Midwest
Undated (AP) _ A ″classic nor’easter″ that whirled into New York and New England left a soggy blanket of up to 13 inches of wet snow today, caused scores of fender- benders and prompted travelers to flee for shelter.
A storm tapering off in the Great Lakes states left a foot of snow by Monday night. Icy winds caused drifting on slick highways in Minnesota and Wisconsin early today.
Since Sunday night, at least 10 traffic deaths were blamed on the storms.
The National Weather Service posted snow advisories this morning for much of New England, New York and New Jersey. Warnings of snow and blowing snow were posted in most of eastern and central Wisconsin, northern Illinois and north-central lower Michigan.
More than a foot of snow fell on parts of New Hampshire, prompting Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart to cancel some appearances. Forecasters expected another 6 inches in some areas today.
The Eastern storm left 6 to 8 inches of snow and sleet in Connecticut, closing Hartford’s Bradley International Airport for two hours Monday and contributing to two traffic fatalities before tapering off this morning, officials said.
″It’s a classic nor’easter because it developed on the (East) Coast ... and is spinning counterclockwise,″ said Mel Goldstein, director of the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University.
Hardest hit were New York’s lower Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains, where up to 20 inches was forecast. By early today at least 13 inches had fallen in Sullivan and Ulster counties, with 10 inches in Columbia County, according to the weather service in Albany.
Schools were closed in parts of New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Ohio, Tennessee and Maryland.
At the Restop Village Diner in the Sullivan County community of Parksville, owner Nicholas Andriopoulos said the heavy snow had kept customers away this morning.
″It’s quiet. Nobody’s on the road,″ he said at 2:30 a.m. There were only four truckers at a time when there normally would be a score of them, he said.
About 20 travelers had stopped Monday night at the Howard Johnson motel in Liberty, N.Y., just to get off the slippery Catskill Mountain roads, said Debbie French, a desk clerk.
Minor accidents were reported by police agencies around eastern New York. Albany area police said there were scores of accidents.
On New York city streetcorners, pedestrians tried to avoid puddles and scanned the avenues for taxis to whisk them out of 1 to 3 inches of slush.
Nine inches of snow had fallen by early today in Rockland County, north of New York City, where police attributed one fatal traffic accident to the weather.
About 5,000 Rockland residents lost electrical power, said Steve Porath, a spokesman for Orange and Rockland Utilities. Only 500 customers were still without power early this morning, he said.
Outages affected about 5,500 people in northern Westchester, Putnam and eastern Dutchess counties, but service had been restored to all but 600 by 7 a.m. today, said Robert Cunihan, a spokesman for the New York State Electric and Gas Co.
Four inches of snow had fallen in eastern New Jersey and up to 12 inches in western New Jersey.
In western and central Massachusetts, including the Berkshire mountains, 5 to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow piled up. The storm brought rain to the eastern part of the state.
″It’s real heavy snow. It’s packing down,″ said state police Lt. William Shea in Northampton in western Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Electric Co., which has 850,000 customers in 146 communities around the state, reported about 5,000 scattered outages.
The storm also knocked out power to about 3,000 homes and businesses in New Hampshire. Crews worked through the night to restore power.
Up to 18 inches of snow fell on parts of Vermont, to the delight of skiers and ski area owners.
″Natural snowfall up until today, we were down about 40 percent from last year,″ said Candace Moot, associate director of the Vermont Ski Areas Association. ″But this, for us - it’s the icing on the cake. We need it. We love it.″
Snow and wind in mountainous Garrett County, Md., created blizzard conditions on Interstate 48 this morning and some schools closed today because of icy roads, but the snow had eased up throughout most of the state.
A 6-inch layer of snow over much of the Chesapeake Bay region caused at least three fatalities Monday, and Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. said power outages this morning affected 3,800 customers.
In the Midwest, up to 15 inches of snow fell overnight Monday in Ashland County, Wis., and the storm stranded scores of travelers in Minnesota. The snow was followed by wind gusts of 35 mph and below-zero temperatures.
Minnesota authorities blamed two traffic deaths on poor visibility caused by blowing snow.
Gary Halvorson, a dispatcher for the Milwaukee Sanitation Department, said the city sent out 58 trucks to salt streets Monday, but that snow accumulation was only a few inches, not enough to warrant plowing.
Wintry weather had Florida’s citrus and winter-vegetable growers on alert today as temperatures plunged because of strong northern winds. Temperatures today dipped into the 20s and 30s in northern areas and ranged from the 40s to the 50s in central and southern Florida.
Officials said crops likely would survive unless temperatures remain below 27 degrees for an extended period. Forecasters said the coldest temperatures of the winter would come Wednesday morning.