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Plows gearing up for N.H. snowstorm tonight

State transportation plow crews are preparing for up to a foot of snow expected to fall in New Hampshire starting this evening and lasting into tomorrow.

Transportation department spokesman Bill Boynton said yesterday that the season’s first big storm is expected to hit the Salem area first about 4 p.m. today and spread across the state. Temperatures may be near 15 degrees, which is too cold to pretreat roads with a salt-brine mixture. Boynton said the mixture won’t prevent ice buildup if temperatures are too cold.

The National Weather Service said 6 to 12 inches of snow was expected today through tomorrow in most of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Areas north and west of New York City also could get 8 inches or more, and sleet and freezing rain were expected.

Boynton said highway crews should have an easier time keeping roads clear since the snow will start falling at night and on a weekend when there is less traffic.

Boynton said the storm is expected to last about 18 hours.

Gov. Maggie Hassan’s office said it will closely monitor the storm and open the emergency operations center if necessary.

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