Sound of snowblowers, scrapers replace storm’s howling winds

BOSTON (AP) — The howling winds of the biggest snowstorm this winter to hit the Northeast were replaced Friday by the growl of snowblowers and scraping of shovels.

Sunshine graced the region, following blizzard conditions that dropped a foot and a half of snow in New England and eastern New York on Thursday. Temperatures were cold, though, in the teens that felt even colder with the wind chill.

East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and East Hartford, Connecticut, hit the jackpot, each with 19 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. In New York, Voorheesville and New Scotland got 18 inches.

Friday’s cleanup meant turning the lights back on in many places, including Cape Cod, where a wind gust of 70 mph was recorded. Most major highways were cleared and planes began taking off again after thousands of flights were canceled across the region during the storm.

Many school districts, including in Boston, remained closed, however.

Justin Kates, director of emergency management for Nashua, New Hampshire, where about 14 inches of snow fell, said crews had cleared major roads overnight and were working on sidewalks and residential side streets. City offices were open, although schools remained closed.

“So far, the winter has been all right,” he said, recalling the back-to-back storms of a couple of winters ago that “made me question whether I wanted to live in New England anymore.”

The storm came a day after temperatures soared into the 50s and 60s, giving millions of people a taste of spring. But the winter chill was expected to stick around and more snow — although lesser amounts — was predicted for the weekend.

Kates said Nashua schools could close a third day Monday because the forecast called for another 5 or 6 inches Sunday night and several more Monday morning.

In Westbrook, Maine, workers hustled to clear about a foot of snow from a restaurant parking lot. Manager Sergio Tamburlini anticipated a big day for people looking to get out before more snow sends them indoors.

“Tonight is a good night — if people are going to be out only one night this weekend, they are going to do it tonight,” he said.

In Parsonsfield, Maine, where the only plow truck driver for most of the town quit after a storm dumped 25 inches of snow in December, officials said they had received only one complaint Friday morning and operations were running smoothly.

The storm was blamed for at least one death. A New York City doorman, identified by police as 59-year-old Miguel Angel Gonzalez of Bridgeport, Connecticut, died when he slipped while shoveling and hit a glassed-in vestibule.

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