- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A major winter storm blanketed New Hampshire Tuesday, but ample warning, a declared state of emergency and what Gov. Maggie Hassan called good old Granite State common sense kept problems to a minimum. Here’s a look at how the storm affected the state:


The National Weather Service predicted storm totals of 18-24 inches in southeastern and coastal New Hampshire, with the amount falling as you head north and west. By 4 p.m., 26 inches was reported in Atkinson, 24 inches in Hudson and 18.5 inches in Merrimack. Concord was expected to get about a foot while north of the White Mountains, Colebrook was looking at 2 to 6 inches.


The wind created problems during the storm and will continue to harass clean-up efforts even after the snowfall ends. At Hampton, steady winds of 30 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph will push the dry, light snow into drifts that can block roads and undo efforts by plow crews to keep the pavement clear.


Hassan declared a state of emergency on Monday and ordered all non-essential state services closed to keep employees off the roads. She also implored private businesses to follow her lead and let their employees stay home, keeping more cars off the roads and letting state Department of Transportation crews work more efficiently. At a briefing Tuesday morning, Hassan said “so far, so good,” when asked how the state was faring during the storm. State Police Col. Robert Quinn said that troopers were still responding to cars of the road on state highways.


State government offices, including courts and the state liquor stores, will reopen Wednesday but Hassan is asking agency heads to be flexible in granting leave requests for employees hindered by the storm. Schools around the state were closed Tuesday and many were already announcing they’d be closed on Wednesday, too.


The wind was expected to snap tree limbs and potentially knock out power, especially along the coast. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, though, there were fewer than 150 outages statewide. Utilities strategically placed crews in the field ahead of the storm and brought in outside contractors to help out if needed.


All arrivals and departures at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport were canceled. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation suspended toll collections from midnight Monday through midnight Tuesday. Amtrak temporarily suspended service between New York and Boston, as well as the Downeaster from Brunswick, Maine to Boston, and the Vermonter from Washington to St. Albans, Vermont. Later Tuesday, Amtrak said the services between New York and Boston would resume on a modified schedule Wednesday while the other services would be on their regular schedules Wednesday.


The storm was expected to taper off by Tuesday night as the storm pushes north. Wednesday looks to be dry but more snow could hit the state Thursday night into Friday.


“You’ve got to be crazy to be out. The roads are terrible. It’s so easy to get stuck. You hit the snowdrifts everywhere. It’s not unusual to see 5-, 6-, 7-foot snowdrifts in some of the driveways.”

- Bob Preston, real estate agent in Seabrook.

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