State and region a winter wonderland once again
By DAVE COLLINS
The Associated Press | December 16,2013
HARTFORD, Conn. — A weekend storm that dumped a foot or more of snow in Vermont and elsewhere in the Northeast made ski area operators and snow removal workers happy, but travelers were forced to deal with slippery roads and flight cancellations Sunday.
Molly Taaffe, 23, was on the slopes at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, N.H., by 8 a.m. for her 10th day of skiing this season. She said it was her best outing yet.
“There’s nothing like powder,” she said. “It’s incredible. It’s really busy, everyone’s so excited. You don’t get a lot of days like this on the East Coast, so when you do everyone’s psyched.”
Snowfall in the region ranged from 2 to 8 inches in Connecticut and Rhode Island to almost 11 inches in northern Massachusetts and nearly 17 inches on Maine’s southern coast, according to the National Weather Service.
“We term it a kind of low-end nor’easter,” said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist for the Weather Service. “It’s a pretty typical winter storm.”
The late-fall storm gently blanketed much of the Green Mountains with more than a foot of the fluffy snow Saturday night and Sunday morning, just in time for today’s opening of snowmobile season.
“Our heaviest snowfalls were seen in south-central Vermont: Windsor, Orange and Rutland counties,” said Eric Evenson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington. “The southeast wind pushed up against the spine of the Green Mountains and resulted in heavy snowfall along the east side.”
According to the National Weather Service, Shrewsbury saw some of the heaviest snowfall, with 17 inches reported Sunday morning. Heading north, Killington saw a little more than 16 inches, and areas of Rochester saw between 9 inches and 14 inches of mostly light and dry snow.
In central Vermont, snowfall totals as of Sunday evening included 15 inches in Washington and Walden; 13½ inches in East Montpelier and Northfield Falls; and 13 inches in Chelsea and Randolph Center. In the Mad River Valley, Warren reported 12 inches of snow, as did Northfield. Marshfield had 11 inches while Montpelier and Barre, according to the weather service, had 9½ and 8 inches respectively.
The storm left more than 4,000 customers without electricity, according to Green Mountain Power spokesman Robert Dostis.
“This storm wasn’t so bad,” Dostis said. “We had scattered outages around the state, but they were minimal because the snow was light and didn’t weigh down tree limbs or power lines.”
By Sunday afternoon, fewer than a dozen GMP customers were without power.
The snowfall is a blessing for snowmobile enthusiasts, because the VAST (Vermont Association of Snow Travelers) network of trails that crisscrosses the state opens today.
Car accidents were reported across the region, including a crash in central Pennsylvania that killed two people late Saturday morning. Police said an SUV was traveling too fast for weather conditions when it lost control and slid into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. The two people in the SUV died, and the truck driver was seriously injured.
In Indiana, authorities say a man married less than seven hours was killed along with a stranded motorist he stopped to help in the snow when they were struck by several vehicles. The man, 49-year-old William Knight was with his wife, Nikki, late Saturday on the way back from his wedding reception to a hotel when the accident happened. Knight and 42-year-old Linda Darlington were standing on the side of the road when they were struck by one vehicle and then two more, authorities say. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Airports were working to get back to normal after hundreds of flight cancellations. Many Sunday morning flights at Logan International Airport in Boston and other airports in the region were canceled, but most afternoon flights were listed as on time.
Rutland Herald reporter Josh O’Gorman contributed to this report.