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US Northeast hit with another winter blast

February 17, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The latest blast of snow to hit the far northeastern New England region dumped more than a foot (30 centimeters) in Massachusetts and packed heavy winds that left thousands without power along the state’s Cape Cod peninsula.

The weekend snowstorm follows an earlier storm that blanketed the East Coast with snow and ice, caused at least 25 deaths and left hundreds of thousands without power, just the latest in a long winter of storms.

Coastal areas in Maine and south of Boston appeared to get the worst of the storm overnight. In Massachusetts, 15 inches (38 centimeters) of snow was reported in some areas.

Wind gusts of more than 50 mph (80 kph) were reported Saturday night on Cape Cod, where utility NStar said fewer than 1,000 customers were without power early Monday morning. Crews from Connecticut crossed into Massachusetts to help fix the power outages after more than 13,000 customers started the morning without power.

In Maine, up to 17 inches (430 millimeters) of snow were reported in some areas. The Department of Transportation said it deployed 375 trucks statewide at the height of the storm Saturday night.

In Rhode Island, transportation officials warned drivers to expect difficult travel conditions through the Monday morning commute, blaming strained road salt supplies that forced them to apply only a limited amount ahead of the storm.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said it was applying sand for traction on roadways that were left covered with snow and ice, but that roads were likely to refreeze Sunday night and black ice was likely. Rhode Island received between 3 and 8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

In Canada, Toronto called an extreme cold weather alert as the temperature was expected to drop to minus-5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 Celsius) on Sunday night. The alert, in effect until further notice, was called to trigger additional services for the homeless. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in parts of Newfoundland were warning residents only to venture out in emergencies because of whiteout driving conditions.

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