Nor'easter Dumps More Than Foot of Snow, Causes N.H. Outages

Mar 8, 2018

A New Hampshire DOT truck during a winter storm earlier this year.
Credit NHPR File Photo

Tens of thousands of people have had their power restored Thursday, after a winter storm dumped about a foot of heavy, wet snow on New Hampshire.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, about 37,000 customers – mostly in Southeastern New Hampshire – were still waiting on power.

Unitil spokeswoman Carol Valianti says the snow that fell on that region is like cement. It adheres to trees and branches and wires, and brings them down.

On top of that, she says the preceding nor'easter left trees brittle from wind and loaded the ground with moisture, weakening root systems.

"I just feel like that storm sort of set up trees and the infrastructure to be a bit vulnerable to this kind of snow with this amount of weight,” Valianti says.

Representatives for the big three New Hampshire utilities – Liberty, Eversource and Unitil – say they're fixing damaged transmission equipment first, which is bringing back power for large swaths of people.

They say smaller, more individual outages might take longer to fix and could last through the weekend. 

And they’re reminding people to treat all downed power lines as potentially live and dangerous, and to call police or their electric company if they see one.

(An earlier report follows here.)

The major winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of southern New Hampshire, resulting in power outages and forcing school closings and traffic delays.

Eversource, the state's largest utility, reported 23,501 customers without power at 7 a.m. Thursday, while it continued to snow.

Eversource says it's ready to deal with the incoming snowstorm in northern New England.

Hundreds of Eversource customers in Connecticut and nearly 2,000 in Boston were still without power as of Wednesday afternoon.

Spokeswoman Kaitlyn Woods says New Hampshire crews who'd been sent to help have been called home. The Granite State’s largest utility has called in back-up from Canada.

(An earlier report follows here.)

Another winter nor'easter is bearing down on New Hampshire, and this storm could drop a foot or two feet of snow on parts of the state.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning that has a wide rage of snow accumulation projections. The most recent forecast anticipates snow beginning mid-day, and being heaviest overnight, with a range of 13- to 22- inches in greater Concord.

The winter storm warning is in effect from 1 p.m. today and extends to 1 p.m. Thursday.

Gov. Chris Sununu says the state's emergency operation center will open at 2 p.m.

Sununu said he is working closely with state and local emergency management officials to prepare for the storm. His office and the state operations center is in contact with utility companies. "While I recommend that folks stay off the roads if they are able to during the high points of the storm, I encourage those who must travel to use common sense, plan ahead for challenging conditions and exercise extreme caution," Sununu said in a statement.

Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, says the heaviest snowfall is expected in the southern part of the state. "The heaviest snow will begin to move in between 3 and 4 p.m. and will continue overnight," she says. "So really, impacting travel this afternoon. Certainly, anyone who's able to get off the road earlier, that would be better."