National

Another blizzard knocks the Northeast to its knees

ALBANY, N.Y. —A slow-moving winter storm smacked the Northeast on Friday, unleashing heavy snow, rain and hurricane-force winds as it knocked out power to more than a million homes and businesses. It turned Maine beachfront streets into rivers and piled on the misery in places hit by three major blizzards in less than a month.

Every form of travel was miserable, if not impossible. More than 1,000 flights were canceled, bus service across northern New Jersey was knocked out and roads from Ohio to West Virginia to Maine were closed. State troopers used snowmobiles to reach motorists stranded for hours on an eastern New York highway.

"We're buried," said Graham Foster, highway superintendent in the town of Wappinger, one of the hardest hit areas in upstate New York. "My men have been out since 7 yesterday morning and we're not making much headway because there are so many trees down and wires down."

Foster, who was working on one hour of sleep Friday, said one of his big concerns was getting more diesel fuel for his constantly running plows. Many local gas pumps were inoperable because of widespread power outages.

Power failures were so severe and widespread in New Hampshire — 340,000 of the state's roughly 800,000 customers — that even the state Emergency Operations Center was operating on a generator. Gov. John Lynch said it could take a week for all those lights to flicker back on.

It was wind and rain rather than snow that wreaked havoc in New Hampshire and its neighbor Maine. Parts of southern Maine were hit with more than 8 inches of rain.

Areas to the south, meanwhile, got their third heavy dumping of snow this month. Monroe, N.Y., received 31 inches, and New York City got more than 20.

This had already been the snowiest winter for Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J., before the latest storm dropped another 4 to 5 inches by midmorning Friday.

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