A new winter storm bought snow and dangerously high winds to New England for the fourth time in less than a month on Valentine’s Day.
The region has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas.
A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal areas from Connecticut to Maine through February 16 in the morning, promising 8 to 14 inches in southern New England up to 2 feet in Maine. A bone-chilling blast of cold will follow, with lows of minus 10 degrees forecast in some areas Sunday night.
National Weather Service meteorologist William Babcock said road conditions will be dangerous as steady, widespread winds whip the relatively dry snow around.
“On Sunday, the best thing people can do is stay home, stay indoors,” he said.
Hesaid gusts could max out at 75 mph — hurricane territory — on Cape Cod. Officials warned of possible power outages, and north-facing or vulnerable coastal areas could suffer flooding and beach erosion, the National Weather Service said.
The bad weather spanned several states — winter storm warnings extended west into Michigan and Ohio, where whiteout conditions led to a pileup on the Ohio Turnpike that killed at least two people. Another crash involving several tractor-trailers was reported on Interstate 70 just west of Columbus, and a storm-related crash on the New York Thruway south of Buffalo killed one person.
In New England, transportation officials took many precautions. Boston’s Logan International Airport said more than 250 Sunday flights were already canceled, and none was scheduled Sunday morning. And the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority canceled all rail, bus and ferry service in the Boston area on February 15.
Gov. Charlie Baker urged drivers to stay off roads during the storm, but he stopped short of an outright travel ban.
Crews worked urgently to remove the massive amounts of snow that clogged streets and triggered numerous roof collapses.
Massachusetts called up hundreds of National Guard troops to assist with snow removal, and the Hanscom Air Force base outside Boston became a staging area for heavy equipment pouring in from eight other Northeast states to help in the effort.
In southern New Hampshire, where up to 18 inches of new snow could fall, employees at a tree service volunteered to clear the snow from the roof of Londonderry South Elementary School. With the weather promising to show little love on Valentine’s Day, Governor CharlieBaker on Friday proclaimed “Valentine’s Week” in Massachusetts and encouraged people to celebrate the holiday by buying gifts and dining out all next week.
Business groups said weather-related travel woes have cut into sales by up to 80% for some restaurants and retailers leading up to Valentine’s Day, a holiday that usually generates about $500 million in business.
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