Some cities near snow records after northeast storm

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The snow may be over for the mid-Atlantic, but Northeast communities were still expecting more snow from the winter storm system that dumped snow from Washington to Massachusetts.

Tuesday's powerful nor'easter paralyzed much of the Washington-to-Boston corridor, but fell short of the predicted snowfall totals in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

The storm, which followed a stretch of unusually mild winter weather, dumped 1 to 2 feet in many places, grounded more than 6,000 flights and knocked out power to nearly a quarter-million customers from Virginia northward.

Plunging overnight temperatures threatened to turn the snow, sleet and sloppy mix into a slippery mess, raising fears of black ice for motorists and slick sidewalks for pedestrians.

In Rochester, N.Y., residents awoke Wednesday to the daunting task of digging out from a record, seemingly endless snowfall.

The latest totals from the National Weather Service show that areas northwest of Rochester received more than 25 inches by 10 a.m. Wednesday. Fairport and Penfield, N.Y., east of the city, had 22 inches a short time later.

A total of 22.2 inches fell at the Greater Rochester International Airport since the storm began. The 15.6 inches that was recorded at the airport Tuesday in Rochester set a record for March 14. The previous record, 8.2 inches, was set in 1993.

About 160 miles southeast in Binghamton, N.Y., the city was in striking distance to break an all-time record of seasonal snowfall, according to the National Weather Service. So far this season, almost 128 inches of snow has fallen in the area.

An all-time seasonal high was set in 1993-94, when just more than 131 inches of snow was recorded in the Binghamton area.

In a 24-hour period, the National Weather Service in Binghamton said 31.3 inches of snow fell.

 

 


Weather officials say the latest snow totals starkly contrast a lackluster winter last year, when just 32 inches of snow fell for the entire 2015-16 season — a record low snowfall. Typically, seasonal snowfall recorded at the Greater Binghamton Airport is 83.4 inches.

In Burlington, Vt., the snow from the storm The Weather Channel dubbed Stella, is the third-highest amount in the city's history, according to the Weather Service.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the storm dropped 28.7 inches of snow, said Eric Evenson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

It will take slightly more than an inch of snow to move the storm into second place, a record set after the storm of Dec. 25-28, 1969, which dropped 29,8 inches, Evenson said.

Burlington's all-time record for a single storm is 33.1 inches, which fell Jan. 2-3, 2010, according to the weather service.

On Wednesday, weather concerns shift from snow to winds that could blow snow drifts onto roadways.

Officials in the Binghamton area say this wind could hamper efforts to clear the roads.

"Lingering snow and blowing snow will create very poor travel conditions as roads will be snow covered and slippery," the weather service said Wednesday. "Bitter wind chills may produce frostbite with prolonged exposure to the cold."

Boston canceled school for a second day as cleanup efforts continued. Mayor Marty Walsh said he made the call out of "an abundance of caution."

Some areas in the Rochester region could still see up to eight more inches of snow by 8 p.m. Wednesday. The heaviest snowfall is projected for Rochester and communities to the east.

Monroe County (N.Y.) Executive Cheryl Dinolfo issued a  "no unnecessary travel advisory" and asked residents to stay off the roads so that plow crews can do their jobs.

Dinolfo also asked that drivers use caution as they leave driveways and parking lots, since snowbanks are large enough to hide adults.

In the Rochester area, all schools were closed in Monroe County, as were many businesses, including the area's three main malls and most government offices.

Wegmans Food Market grocery stores were open in the Rochester area, but the company was forced to close supermarkets in Syracuse and Pennsylvania.

While most people heeded the warnings to stay off the roads Tuesday, police said 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.

In East Hartford, Conn., an elderly man died after being struck by a snow plow truck.

Philadelphia and New York City got anywhere from a few inches of snow to around half a foot before it switched over to sleet. Forecasters had predicted a foot or more. In New Jersey, which saw rain or just a little snow, Gov. Chris Christie called the storm an "underperformer." But officials still warned of dangerous ice.

The storm coincided with New Hampshire's Town Meeting Day, a Yankee tradition in which voters in more than 100 communities elect local politicians and set budgets.

Some towns postponed the meetings because of the snow. But in Hopkinton, a steady stream of voters braved the blustery conditions.

"You know, they're hardy New Englanders, and they're coming to vote," said Debbie Norris, a candidate for the Hopkinton Budget Committee.

Contributing: Anthony Borrelli, (Binghamton, N.Y) Press & Sun-Bulletin; Joel Banner Baird, The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press; The Associated Press. 

 

© 2017 USA TODAY


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