PROVIDENCE, R.I. – As New Englanders began the back-breaking job of digging out from as much as 3 feet of snow, about 475,000 homes and businesses remained without power late Saturday night, down from a total of about 650,000, and some could be cold and dark for days.
At least five deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the overnight snowstorm.
Blowing with hurricane-force winds of more than 80 mph in places, the storm hit hard along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between New York City and Maine. Milford., Conn., got 38 inches of snow, and Portland, Maine, recorded 31.9, shattering a 1979 record. Several communities in New York and across New England got more than 2 feet.
Still, the storm was not as bad as some of the forecasts led many to fear, and not as dire as the Blizzard of ’78, used by longtime New Englanders as the benchmark by which all other winter storms are measured.
By midday Saturday, the National Weather Service reported preliminary snowfall totals of 24.9 inches in Boston, or fifth on the city’s all-time list. Bradley Airport near Hartford, Conn., got 22 inches, for the No. 2 spot in the record books there.
Concord, N.H., got 24 inches of snow, the second-highest amount on record and a few inches short of the reading from the great Blizzard of 1888.
In New York, Central Park recorded 11 inches, not even enough to make the Top 10 list.