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Friday, February 10, 2017

Whiteout! Greater Nashua slammed by biggest storm of season

By DEREK EDRY

Staff Writer

NASHUA – Many Greater Nashua residents put their shovels and snowblowers to the test after the heaviest storm of the winter so far pummeled the region Thursday.

Snow started early across the Northeast and came down hardest in the afternoon, at times accumulating more than 3 inches an hour. The National Weather Service predicted totals of 1 foot or more in Greater Nashua. ...

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NASHUA – Many Greater Nashua residents put their shovels and snowblowers to the test after the heaviest storm of the winter so far pummeled the region Thursday.

Snow started early across the Northeast and came down hardest in the afternoon, at times accumulating more than 3 inches an hour. The National Weather Service predicted totals of 1 foot or more in Greater Nashua.

Schools canceled classes and many public departments and businesses closed early. Manchester-Boston Regional Airport canceled most flights as the storm passed through the state.

Jon Ibarra, Nashua’s superintendent of streets, said plows were on the road early Thursday and would likely be working through the night.

“It’s really been impossible to keep up with the snowfall. … We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature,” Ibarra said during peak conditions in the afternoon.

The city declared a snow emergency starting at 10 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday.

Ibarra said the snow emergency was implemented late in the evening to minimize impact to businesses and residents as city employees finished cleaning sidewalks and streets.

Nashua Police Sgt. Joshua Albert said as of late afternoon Thursday, there had been a few incidents of vehicles sliding off the road, but no serious accidents.

Merrimack Police Capt. Denise Roy described a similar scene.

“For the most part, people have stayed off the roads, which helps not only us, but the highway department, too,” Roy said.

Hudson Police Sgt. Mike Niven said most of the calls to which the department responded were because of vehicles impeding snow.

“It’s late in the season, so people learn how to drive at this point,” Niven said.

In downtown Nashua, many did not let whiteout conditions stop them from seizing the day.

Brynja Alvarez, of Hudson, pushed a car up snow-covered Pearson Avenue in the afternoon. The car's tires were barely able to get any traction and were spinning wildly.

"It's fun. We’re going snowboarding," she said. "I don't mind it."

Brok Thibodeau walked up Main Street, which was slick with snow that covered ice, wearing a hat that looked like a walrus.

"It’s not too bad,” he said. “I appreciate a good storm once in awhile. We're overdue for one."

At the Statehouse, Gov. Chris Sununu’s budget proposal and the House session continued as scheduled.

“We urge all residents to proceed with caution when traveling through New Hampshire,” Sununu said in a statement released before his address.

Staff writer Don Himsel contributed to this report. Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_Derek.