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Winter storm brings messy roads, no major accidents

Chris McNair tells his daughter Taylor, 4. that he will take her sledding after he finishes shoveling the driveway during the first nor'easter of the winter, Thursday December 27, 2012.

(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)

Chris McNair tells his daughter Taylor, 4. that he will take her sledding after he finishes shoveling the driveway during the first nor'easter of the winter, Thursday December 27, 2012. (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

The post-Christmas snow storm that hit New England on Wednesday evening and continued into last night brought messy roads, slowed commutes and flight delays, but the Concord area largely avoided major power outages or accidents.

Across the state snow levels ranged from four to 14 inches, according to the National Weather Service, with the Concord area receiving six to eight.

“I would say this is pretty close to what people were expecting. The amounts are maybe not quite as high as we were originally thinking,”
said Mike Kistner, meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Gray, Maine.

The heaviest snowfall hit northern New Hampshire and Maine. The snow stopped accumulating in central New Hampshire by yesterday afternoon, where temperatures hovered around freezing, but the storm warning remained into effect until 4 a.m. today. On the Seacoast, temperatures were higher and it rained for most of the day. Rochester and Conway both received more than a foot of snow, but most area across the state had four to eight inches, said Chris Kimble, another meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

The worst of the snow came overnight Wednesday through yesterday afternoon, with the state lowering the speed limit on highways to 45 mph, slowing many people’s morning commutes. The city of Concord used rotating shifts of more than 20 plows starting Wednesday night, said Philip Bilodeau, deputy director of general services. The city also enacted an overnight parking ban last night and Wednesday.

In addition to lower speed limits, there were several lane closures to account for cars off the road, but no major roadways were closed, said Matthew Plantier, supervisor for the state Transportation Management Center.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport didn’t cancel any flights, but it did experience delays as several inbound flights were cancelled Wednesday night, said Tom Malafronte, assistant airport director.

Concord and the rest of the state were also spared major power outages. Unitil had several outages on the Seacoast, where the wind was higher, said spokesman Alec O’Meara. Overall it was a quiet day, with a few minor outages including one in Windham because a car hit a pole, said Martin Murray, a PSNH spokesman.

“It was kind of a nice gentle snow, so that’s what we like,” he said.

Forecasts show below average temperatures, in the teens and low 20s, through the weekend and into next week, and the area could get a few inches of snow tomorrow, Kimble said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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