- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The second winter storm in four days to hit the Northeast centered on New England on Monday, bringing howling winds and coastal flooding and threatening Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts with up to 18 inches of snow.

The storm could last into Tuesday, when New Hampshire’s first-in-the nation presidential primary is held. The storm was accompanied by high winds that brought scattered power failures, as well as coastal flooding from south of Boston to Cape Cod and Connecticut. A major surface road in south Boston was closed by flooding late Monday morning.

By Monday afternoon, Cape Cod and the islands appeared to have met the conditions for a blizzard, the National Weather Service said. Much of the rest of Massachusetts and most of Connecticut were under a winter storm warning and could get as much as 10 inches of snow. Boston could see 6 to 10 inches.

The storm led to accidents, including in Connecticut, where a charter bus crashed and fell on its side on Interstate 95 in Madison. At least 30 people were injured, including six of them critically.

In Rhode Island, crowds of mourners lined the streets amid bitter temperatures and falling snow to bid farewell to former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, whose hearse was carried by horse-drawn carriage from City Hall to the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

Other parts of the Northeast, including Northern New England and the New York City area, was expected to get much less snow. New York City, Philadelphia and northern New Jersey could get 2 to 3 inches from Monday into Tuesday night, the weather service said.

The snow meant unpleasant outdoor work for some people.

Sean Nardone, a custodian for the U.S. Postal Service, was scheduled to spend the day shoveling and treating the front steps of several post offices south of Boston.

“I don’t like it very much,” Nardone said as he tossed rock salt on the steps of the Whitman post office while a howling wind blew.

“I hope global warming friggin’ helps out this winter,” he said. “I hate to sound selfish, but I could use some warmth.”

Raj Patel, who co-owns a convenience store in Whitman, said the storm is good for business.

“It’s convenient for the neighborhood. We are always open for them. In past storms, we’ve sold out of milk right away. Milk, bread, water - a lot of people walk from their homes, so we stay open,” he said.

Communities across the region closed schools and issued on-street parking bans.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker closed state offices in nine counties Monday, and state courts were closed in 10 counties.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which was crippled by a series of historic storms during Boston’s record-breaking winter last year, was operating on a normal weekday schedule with winter routes in effect for buses. Although there were delays, no major problems were reported.

Restoring confidence in the MBTA’s reliability is important, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said.

“That’s what we all lost faith in last winter,” she said. “I think every storm where the T is able to run service pretty well, I hope, will help to restore that (faith).”

Boston’s Logan Airport remained open, but hundreds of inbound and outbound flights were canceled.

Ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard was suspended.

___

Associated Press writers Bob Salsberg in Boston; Denise Lavoie in Whitman, Massachusetts; Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire; and Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

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