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BOSTON — Frigid temperatures descended on the northern tier of the country, and while it’s not the coldest weather of the season, the biting chill followed a powerful snowstorm from the Midwest into the Northeast.

According to the National Weather Service, people from Montana to Maine are dealing with sub-zero wind chill temperatures.

The arctic blast is bringing minus 20 degree wind chills to parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England, and minus 35 degrees in pockets near the Canadian border.

The cold prompted warnings of “flash freezing” and black ice from Philadelphia to Portland, Maine.

Here’s the latest on the storm and its aftermath:

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SNOWFALL AND WARNINGS

A winter storm warning was lifted early Feb. 2 for Maine, where Machias was the hardest hit, with 17 inches of snow, before the sky cleared early. Rockland, in Maine’s Knox County, received 14 inches and there were widespread reports of at least 10 inches.

Earlier, the snowstorm, which dumped more than 19 inches of snow on Chicago and more than a foot on southeastern Wisconsin, deepened off the southern New England coast.

It brought accumulations approaching 18 inches in the Boston area and around a foot of slushy wintry mix to Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Vermont — places still reeling from the up to 3 feet they got last week.

Hardest hit in New Hampshire was Weare, in Hillsborough County, which was hit with more than 15 inches of snow.

New York City’s snow totals ranged from around 3.6 inches in Central Park to 7 inches in the Bronx while Long Island got 3 inches to 10 inches.

The Philadelphia area received about an inch of snow before the precipitation changed to rain. Forecasters said portions of the Lehigh Valley got up 8 inches, and there was up to a foot in northern Pennsylvania. Much of New Jersey got several inches of snow while parts of northern Ohio received at least a foot.

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A PARTY POSTPONED

As Boston recovers from its second major winter storm in a week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the victory parade for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots would be postponed until Feb. 3.

“We look forward to celebrating with Patriots fans during better weather on Wednesday,” Walsh said in a statement.

School was canceled in Boston and some suburbs for Feb. 2 and Gov. Charlie Baker ordered a delayed start for non-essential state agency workers to allow more time for clearing roads.

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A DEADLY TOLL

Fifty-seven-year-old Cynthia Levine was struck and killed by a snowplow just before 10 a.m. Feb. 2 in the parking lot of a condominium complex in Weymouth, south of Boston, the Norfolk District Attorney’s office said.

In New York, state police said they were investigating a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 when a third vehicle lost control on the highway and hit the two vehicles from the first crash. The cause was not immediately known, but the crash occurred as snow and freezing rain hindered travel throughout the region.

Doctors in Ohio said Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins was heavily sedated and in critical condition Feb. 2, a day after he went into cardiac arrest and his SUV crashed into a pole on his way home not long after a news conference.

Illinois State Police say ice was responsible for crashes on Interstate 294 in the Chicago suburb of Hickory Hills that involved at least 45 vehicles, one of them a state police squad car. Eight people were taken to area hospitals

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DISORDER IN THE COURT

The storm delayed two of the nation’s biggest court cases — the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Testimony was to resume Feb. 3 in the Hernandez trial. But Federal court officials in Boston, who follow the city’s school closure schedule, said the Tsarnaev proceedings would be delayed a second day.

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COMMUTING PROBLEMS

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority riders were warned to expect delays Tuesday because of the cold. On Feb. 2, Boston’s MBTA was running despite the heavy snowfall, with delays including one train that lost power south of Boston, temporarily stranding about 50 passengers.

Rush-hour commuters in New York City were stranded on a packed subway train that lost power for 2½ hours before it could be towed to a station. Five other trains were stuck behind it.

In Henniker, New Hampshire, crews on Feb. 2 were cleaning up snow using plows loaned by the state and surrounding towns. A fire had destroyed the town’s plow fleet three days earlier.

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CAUTIOUS CALL

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he ruled out another highway travel ban in the most recent winter storm because the weather was not “extraordinary” as it was last week.

Malloy said snow accumulation last week was intense at times, leading to as much as 30 inches in parts of the state. He says circumstances were different during the Feb. 2 storm. The National Weather Service says snow totals ranged from 7.5 inches along the shoreline to 14.3 inches in Weston.

Malloy said credibility becomes an issue when travel bans are imposed too frequently. He said if state officials say circumstances are extraordinary, “they are, in fact, extraordinary.”

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SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER?

The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the “prediction” Feb. 2.

Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

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By PHILIP MARCELO and DENISE LAVOIE. AP writers Mark Pratt and Sylvia Lee Wingfield in Boston and Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Connecticut, contributed

 

 

The post The Big Chill Ices America appeared first on The National Herald.

Source: The National Herald
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