Snow Hits New England for 3rd Day

CONCORD, N.H. - Snow fell across parts of New England for the third day in a row Wednesday, adding to last month's record accumulations and closing schools.

Flurries also extended into the Ohio Valley, and some children had an extra holiday as classes were canceled in parts of West Virginia and Ohio.

Temperatures fell to freezing levels as far south as the Florida Panhandle, and wind chill readings were below zero in parts of northern Kentucky.

Following the snowiest December on record, many areas of New Hampshire got about a foot of snow on New Year's Day, with a couple of inches added during the night and a couple more likely Wednesday. Storm totals could reach 18 inches in parts of Maine and New Hampshire and up to a foot in Vermont.

The latest snowfall in New England followed a storm on Monday that made for the area's snowiest December in decades. December's snowfall at Concord, N.H., totaled 44.5 inches, toppling a record of 43 inches that had stood since 1876. Burlington, Vt., got 45.7 inches, far above its 17.2-inch December average, and Portland, Maine, amassed 37.7 inches for its third-snowiest December on record.

"It's been unbelievable. It just keeps coming," said Bill Swain, spokesman for Maine's Sugarloaf USA ski area, which got 70 inches of snow in December.

The snowfall delayed the start of the 2008 state legislative session in Augusta, Maine, from Wednesday morning until the afternoon.

On the southern fringes of the storm on Wednesday, show was scattered from Ohio through eastern Kentucky and West Virginia into parts of Virginia and Maryland.

Up to 6 inches of snow was possible Wednesday at higher elevations of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, although 1- to 2-inch accumulations were likely in most areas, the weather service said.

At least 40 of West Virginia's 55 counties closed all public schools Wednesday because of snow-covered roads and freezing temperatures.

Dozens of schools also were closed Wednesday in southeastern Michigan, where a six-hour burst of snow early Tuesday dumped as much as 16 inches in a three-county area north of Detroit, the weather service said.

"This will be a memorable storm for the amount of snow it dumped in such a short amount of time," weather service meteorologist David Shuler said. He said it was the region's heaviest New Year's Day snowstorm on record.

The storm blacked out 10,000 customers Tuesday in northeast Ohio, where 15 inches of snow fell at in Pierpont, east of Cleveland. About 4,000 more lost power Tuesday evening in southwest Ohio when circuit breakers failed because of the cold.

There were no immediate reports of deaths blamed on the weather. Snow covered a highway in northeast Indiana where a van overturned early Wednesday, killing two women, but State Police Cpl. Derek Fisher said he could not say if the weather contributed to the crash.


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