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Deep Chill Sets In as Northeast Emerges From Heavy Snow and Harsh Winds


BOSTON — Residents across the East Coast were digging out in icy conditions on Sunday after a fierce, wind-packed storm pummeled the region, dumping as much as 30 inches of snow in some parts of Massachusetts and snarling travel plans across the Northeast.

Across the region, snowplow crews were working to get roads, airports and neighborhoods back to normal. Heavy snowfall totals were recorded in Boston — which on Saturday tied its single-day snowfall record with 23.6 inches, according to the National Weather Service — and in Stoughton, Mass., which received 30.9 inches. Providence, R.I., reported 18.8 inches, which appeared to break the city’s one-day record. Areas near New York City received nearly two feet of snow.

As residents emerged on Sunday, they found a new complication in much of the region: fast-dropping temperatures that turned snow to ice and made shoveling for long periods potentially dangerous. Subzero temperatures hit parts of Massachusetts and Maine early Sunday, and wind chills in the Worcester, Mass., area were as low as 16 degrees below zero — so severe that they “could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes,” the Weather Service warned.

Wind chill advisories were issued in western Maine, central New Hampshire and western Connecticut, and Boston had temperatures in the mid-20s. Temperatures were expected to be in the 20s in New York City, but the wind chill made it feel more like the teens, officials said.

Just as one part of the country was recovering from a winter storm, an area spanning the Midwest into the Northeast was expecting another winter storm this week. Although it was unclear on Sunday precisely what path the storm system would take, meteorologists at the Chicago office of the Weather Service reported that the storm could bring ice and snow to the Rocky Mountains and move northeast through Missouri, Illinois, the Great Lakes region and a part of the Eastern Seaboard.

The effects of the storm this weekend were still being felt in travel and transit on Sunday. Hundreds of flights were canceled early Sunday, mostly in the Boston and New York areas, according to the website FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations. That number was likely to grow, but it was a far cry from the thousands of cancellations on Saturday.

La Guardia Airport and Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey all said that they were mostly back to normal operations on Sunday, but on Twitter they advised people to allow for extra travel time on Sunday and Monday as regular travel ramped up again.

In Boston, residents woke up to plowed roads, towering snowbanks and freezing temperatures on Sunday morning after snowfall blanketed the city from early Saturday into the night.

The single-day total of 23.6 inches in the city tied the mark set in 2003. The overall storm total of 23.8 inches was the sixth-highest in the city’s history, according to Bill Leatham, a meteorologist for the Weather Service office in Norton, Mass.

In the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, the streets were quiet on Sunday morning. Two-foot-high snow banks lined the roads, with many cars hidden save for wing mirrors or wipers poking out through the mounds. The few residents who were out opted to walk in the middle of the road rather than sink to their knees.

More than 57,000 customers across Massachusetts were without power on Sunday morning, after a high of more than 115,000 on Saturday, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said. The outages were mostly concentrated on Cape Cod.

A total of 38 people stayed overnight in three emergency shelters on the Cape that opened for the storm, according to Sonja Sheasley, a spokeswoman for the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee.

There were no reports of major flooding on the Cape on Sunday morning, and the damage from the overnight high tide was either still being assessed or buried beneath snow and ice at the moment. Flooding during high tide on Saturday morning inundated areas near the harbor on Nantucket, in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard and on coastal roads around the Cape and South Shore.

With lighter winds on Sunday, the expectation is that the worst of the flooding is past, according to emergency management officials.

In New York, crews worked through Saturday night to get service back up and running for the Long Island Rail Road, the country’s busiest commuter rail train. Service resumed at 5 a.m. on Sunday with some delays.

Blizzard conditions on Saturday were confirmed along parts of the coast in Long Island, which is an “uncommon” event, Tiffany Fortier, a meteorologist with the Weather Service office in New York, said. Long Island MacArthur Airport reported 23.2 inches on Saturday, its second-highest one-day total for snowfall, according to the Weather Service.

Low temperatures and wind chills in the teens will make clearing away the snow a little tougher on Sunday. “People need to make sure that they bundle up when they’re digging themselves out or getting their cars out,” Ms. Fortier said.

In Maine, the aftermath of the storm included plenty of snow but relatively few power outages. Central Maine Power reported 650 customers without power on Sunday morning, and Versant Power reported 1,100. The heaviest snow fell along the coast: 18 inches in Brunswick, nearly 15 in Old Orchard Beach and 14 in Eastport, at the Canada border.

The forecast for Sunday was for slowly diminishing winds and rising temperatures, said Chris Legro, a Weather Service meteorologist. He said midafternoon should be the most comfortable time to dig out from the storm.

Murray Carpenter, Azi Paybarah and Jesse McKinley contributed.




Circassia News

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