NATIONAL NEWS

Cleanup begins as spring nor’easter moves on. But hundreds of thousands still lack power

Apr 5, 2024, 4:50 AM

GILFORD, N.H. (AP) — Snow showers lingered Friday as the cleanup began following a major spring storm that brought heavy snow, rain and high winds to the Northeast, left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power, and contributed to at least two deaths.

Well over a foot (30 centimeters) of snow was reported in many parts of northern New England by Thursday evening. Some areas got closer to 2 feet (61 centimeters).

“We don’t have any internet so we’re kind of closed off from the world,” said Betty Tidd, 78, of Gilford, New Hampshire. She and her husband lost power early Thursday, but they’ve been staying comfortable, thanks to their backup battery system and propane stove.

Tidd said they’ve been keeping busy by bird watching, reading, and playing games, but she hasn’t been able to send out the daily poem she’s been sharing with family and friends as part of National Poetry Month.

Stowe, Vermont, reported 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) of snow, the National Weather Service office in Burlington reported. The agency’s office in Gray, Maine, said it had 17.4 inches (44.2 centimeters). The Concord Municipal Airport in New Hampshire was on the lower end, at 7.4 inches (18.7 centimeters).

“It’s heavy, it’s heavy,” Jay Carr, 49, a photographer, in Marshfield, Vermont, said the shoveling. “I try to shift from left to right so I don’t damage one side worse than the other.”

Low pressure meandering through the Gulf of Maine will mean continued snow showers over northern New York, New England, and the spine of the Appalachians in West Virginia from Friday into Saturday, the weather service said.

A landslide following thunderstorms at the Wheeling Mt. Zion cemetery in West Virginia toppled trees and gravestones. Volunteers who care for the cemetery said the caskets were not damaged.

Avalanches are possible in parts of the Green Mountains in Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York, the weather service said.

“Outdoor enthusiasts heading into the back country on Friday to snowshoe or ski, need to be aware of the avalanche danger, the risks involved and take the appropriate precautions,” the service said in a statement.

That point was repeated at a Concord, New Hampshire, news conference on preparations for the solar eclipse on Monday. A group of towns in the northern part of the state will be in the perfect position to see a total eclipse, and they’re anticipating many visitors.

They were digging out from the storm, including Colebrook, which is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the Canada border.

“We did have about a foot of snow dumped out there over the last day and a half,” Town Manager Tim Stevens said at the news conference. “But even with that, we’re still not canceling the eclipse,” he added, to a round of laughter.

In West Virginia, flooding was expected to continue along the Ohio River into the weekend. The weather service warned motorists to be careful, since backwater flooding can occur even miles from the Ohio.

In New England, utility crews worked overnight to restore power and assess damage, including downed poles and wires and blocked roads. Nearly 700,000 customers, most of them in Maine and New Hampshire, were without electricity at one point.

By late Friday morning, Central Maine Power said it had restored power to more than 120,000 customers. It had called total restoration a multi-day effort.

Some customers were affected for the second time in less than a week after losing power during an ice storm last weekend.

The weather service said it was the biggest April nor’easter — a type of storm with winds blowing from the northeast that either exits or moves north along the East Coast — to hit the region since 2020.

A tree fell on a vehicle Wednesday and killed a woman in Armonk in New York’s Westchester County, police said. In Derry, New Hampshire, officials said a woman died and another was hospitalized after a house fire Thursday sparked by an explosion. A tree had fallen on the house near propane tanks.

Despite the dangers, some hardy New Englanders took the weather in stride.

“It’s special to get snow in April and to be able to get out and enjoy it,” said Jane Phillips, cross-country skiing in her neighborhood in Portland, Maine. “It’s fun being a Mainer.”

___

Rathke reported from Marshfield, Vermont. Also contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Patrick Whittle and Holly Ramer in Boston; Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire; and Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Cleanup begins as spring nor’easter moves on. But hundreds of thousands still lack power