Series of storms dump 3 feet or more on parts of New England

Updated at: 02/16/2017 10:57 AM
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(AP) PORTLAND, Maine - PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A winter storm unleashed more than a foot of wet, heavy snow on parts of Maine and New Hampshire, creating a messy commute, closing schools, knocking out power — and pushing snow tallies to levels unseen in years in northern New England.

The city of Eastport, at the nation's eastern tip, recorded a whopping 69 inches of snow in a 10-day period, and Andover, in western Maine, had 79 inches of snow on the ground, the second-highest level recorded in Maine, said Margaret Curtis of the National Weather Service.

In southern Maine, Portland already had received 36.2 inches of snow, making it the 10th-snowiest February with two weeks to go before month's end, Curtis said.

The heavy snow Wednesday night weighed down trees and snapped limbs, leading to power outages in the two New England states. Central Maine Power alone reported more than 14,000 customers were without electricity late Thursday morning. But crews were making steady progress in restoring power.

The hardest hit towns in the latest onslaught were on the Maine-New Hampshire border, which received 10 to 16 inches of snow overnight, officials said. The biggest tallies included 18 inches in Sanford and 16 inches in Fryeburg, both in Maine.

While some schools closed, others delayed opening, including Jackson Grammar School in Jackson, New Hampshire, sparing a fourth day of at-home assignments for students called "blizzard bag" days.

"Teachers are feeling like the delays, cancellations and early dismissals are impacting the delivery of curriculum this year. However, many families in our school community are skiers and the children love the snow play, so in general most folks are not 'sick of snow,' at least not yet," Principal Gayle Dembowski said.

In Maine, both of the state's largest ski resorts, Sunday River and Sugarloaf, reported that they'd set records for February snowfall. Both resorts reported more than 4 feet of snow in the past week — and more than 5 feet of snow since the start of the month.

Forecasters said the good news for people weary of the winter weather is an outlook that includes no more storms over the next week.

"It'll be a much needed break," said Lesley Jones, the public works director in Augusta. She told the Kennebec Journal that the city workers will need two to three weeks to catch up.

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