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April Fools storm buries New England


'Nor'easter' blamed for 1 death; more than 500,000 lose power

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(CNN) -- It's officially been spring for almost two weeks, but that doesn't guarantee the end of winter weather, as New England was reminded this week.

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A powerful "Nor'easter" storm blew rain, sleet and snow from Washington, D.C., to Maine on Monday and Tuesday, dumping more than two feet of snow in some regions, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and forcing airports to cancel flights.

Even the rite of spring called opening day fell by the wayside, with the Baltimore Orioles calling off their first baseball game of the season. Too chilly and windy, the team said.


Although the snow was tapering off in some areas Tuesday, high winds continued, with gusts to 50 mph in some areas. Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings remained in effect from Maine to Rhode Island.

At least one death has been blamed on the weather.

Snowfall sets new Boston record

Massachusetts Gov. William Weld declared a state of emergency shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, urging nonessential state and city employees to stay home.

Public schools were closed, as were many colleges and universities. Public transportation was crippled. Gale-force winds toppled hundreds of trees and power lines throughout the city. And the continuing snowfall even trapped some sanders and snowplows.

"We've got quite a mess on our hands, and the snow hasn't stopped," Boston's Public Works Commissioner Joe Casazza told CNN. "We're reaching beyond our state borders to clean this place up."

The storm set a new record in Boston, which has received 24 inches of snow so far. According to the National Weather Service, this is the biggest winter storm ever to hit Boston in the month of April.

Airports closed; flights elsewhere delayed


But major shutdowns weren't restricted to Massachusetts.

Both Boston's Logan International Airport and the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, were closed, officials reported. Logan officials said the airport would be closed until at least 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut, which closed on Monday night, reopened at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The three major airports in the New York area -- JFK, LaGuardia and Newark -- were operational but experiencing some delays due to closures at other northeastern airports.

Major power outages reported

Power outages were widespread. More than 250,000 customers lost power in Massachusetts, roughly 500,000 of the state's residents, according to Jerry Meister, the chief of emergency operations for the state.

The storm also knocked out power to more than 100,000 people in New York, mostly upstate.

And in Connecticut, 95,000 of Northeast Utilities Co.'s 1.1 million customers were without power.


More power outages were expected throughout the day, and officials said it may take until Thursday for power to be fully restored.

"We're working around the clock," Northeast Utilities spokeswoman Myra Humphries said. "We don't have the mutual aid assistance we normally would have because the storm is so widespread."

Canadian crews may help clear debris

Officials said Connecticut was working to get crews from Ottawa and other Canadian cities to help clear debris. More than 200 crews were trying to remove toppled trees off power lines. Another 120 crews were clearing downed trees from streets, Humphries said.

"The storm is not over ... so we may have additional power outages throughout the day," Humphries said.

In the Hartford area, about a half-dozen shelters were open and more were projected to open later Tuesday as residents without power flock to safety.


At least one fatal accident was blamed on the weather. Theresa Fuerst, 19, of Valatie, New York, was killed when her car spun out of control and collided with another vehicle in Ghent, New York.

Three inches of snow fell on New York City, while 6 to 12 inches of wet snow and ice were dumped on Long Island. Parts of upstate New York reported 32 inches of snow. And northwest New Jersey received up to 30 inches of snow.


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