Share This Page

Winter ignores dawning of spring as snow socks Northeast, winds pound South

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 8:48 p.m.

BOSTON — Snow and sleet blasted the Northeast on Tuesday — the last full day of winter — closing schools and turning roads into a slick mess that got the Harlem Globetrotters' bus into a minor accident.

Some places are expecting more than a foot of snow by the end of a storm, which commuters hope would be the last. Unwelcomed as it is, the snowstorm near the end of winter is not uncommon in the Northeast, where it can still get plenty cold enough.

“They don't happen all the time, but it's not, you know, unheard of,” said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass.

Some schools in upstate New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut were closed, adding a few more snow days to the calendar. Massachusetts officials postponed the English composition section of its standardized state test until next Monday to keep all schools on the same test date.

Late-winter snow also socked other parts of the northern United States, with as much as 2 feet forecast in parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Icy roads caused some crashes Tuesday morning in Michigan.

In Marlborough, Mass., the Harlem Globetrotters' bus collided with a car on Interstate 290, but no one was hurt, and the bus was able to drive away, state police said. No citations were issued.

A storm earlier this month dumped more than a foot of snow on some parts of the region and caused coastal flooding in Massachusetts, The snow from that storm was nearly gone in some places before the new system started overnight Monday. The snow continued Tuesday night in northern areas.

Nina Walker, of Woburn in suburban Boston, said she had to shovel about 8 inches of snow off her driveway before driving to Boston's South Station to take a train to New York. As a lifelong New Englander, she takes the snow in stride — but draws the line at storms after March 31.

“Once I hear the word April, I am really offended when I hear the word ‘snow,' ” she said. “So this is OK today, but a couple of weeks from now, it had better not happen!”

Forecasts called for as much as 20 inches of snow in parts of northern New England, with lesser amounts mixed with sleet further south. Boston and Providence, R.I., could each get 4 to 8 inches, and Hartford, Conn., could get 4 to 8 inches of snow and sleet by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a storm that hammered the Deep South could result in as many as 50,000 insurance claims in Mississippi alone, according to the state's insurance commissioner.

Much of the region was buffeted with straight-line winds of 50 to 75 mph — the low end of hurricane force — and pounded with hail that grew as large as baseballs in places.

State Sen. Dean Kirby said that based on previous storms and the estimates of how many claims there will be for this storm alone, he “wouldn't be surprised” if the damage reached $100 million in Mississippi. Kirby, has been in the insurance business for years.

About 71,000 customers were still without power across Alabama, a day after storms with the force of hurricane winds toppled trees and utility lines.

Alabama Power said the total was down from the 98,200 who were without power as of 6 a.m. Tuesday and less than half of the more than 222,000 customers left powerless after the Monday storms.

In Georgia, tens of thousands of people were left without power around the state and one man died when a tree fell on his vehicle, authorities said. At least one tornado was confirmed. The coroner said the victim was killed by the falling tree in Polk County on Monday as the line of powerful thunderstorms crossed from Alabama into Georgia.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.