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Winter Storm Slams New England

February 26, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ Schools and businesses shut down and thousands of flights were canceled Thursday as a Nor’easter dumped heavy snow across coastal New England.

Plows couldn’t keep up on Cape Cod and the coast south of Boston as the storm dumped up to 16 inches along the Cape. Fourteen inches fell in parts of Rhode Island, and an inch in Portland, Maine.

After a fairly mild winter, the sudden storm arrived in New England before dawn Thursday, bursting inland from the Atlantic Ocean. By nightfall, snow was also falling as far south as New Jersey, New York City and Long Island, and Connecticut.

Forecasters said parts of eastern Long Island could be hard hit, too.

Several thousand homes lost power on Cape Cod and Nantucket on Thursday night. The Red Cross set up emergency shelters on the Cape.

Ferry service was canceled to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, where a state of emergency was declared.

Authorities in Norton, about 12 miles northeast of Providence, R.I., searched for a 9-year-old boy who was missing after going out at about noon to look for his dog in the storm.

At Logan International Airport in Boston, more than half the flights were canceled, though few of the 35,000 travelers affected were stranded because of advance notice, airport spokesman Phil Orlandella said.

The speed limit on the entire Maine Turnpike was lowered to 45 mph. Massachusetts officials reported dozens of minor accidents.

Still, some welcomed the snow.

``It’s beautiful, light, pretty. It slows everything down,″ said Christine Soltys on the train platform in Swampscott. ``Everyone moves too fast. Life needs to slow down a little bit.″

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