BOSTON – A powerful nor’easter blasted parts of the Eastern Seaboard this weekend, bringing snow, wind and freezing rain to the region for the first time in 2024, and plunging temperatures led to a dangerous flash freeze.
Heavy snow was reported from the Northeast to New England, with several communities reporting more than a foot of snow that slowed travel as millions of Americans were faced with the messy winter weather.
And for some, it was the first significant snowfall in about a year.
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was one of the communities that ended its snowless streak of nearly a year, as its last significant snowfall was on Jan. 25, 2023.
"I’m thrilled (about the snow)," said Chris Reese, owner of Cannon Coffee in Hagerstown, Maryland. "My children are very young, and I feel like my youngest hasn’t even experienced a real snow in the past couple of years. And growing up here, we had massive snowstorms. And I remember jumping off the first-floor roof of my kitchen into this giant mound of snow. And I’m excited for my kids to experience a decent snow this year."
This means that without officially reaching an inch of snowfall, record snowless streaks will continue for most major cities from New York City southward along the Interstate 95 corridor.
It was a different story farther north, however.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) said it had crews out in full force across the state working to clear snow and ice from roads and highways.
"We have more than 600 #CTDOT trucks out across #Connecticut and we won’t stop until the job is done," CTDOT said on X, formerly Twitter. "When you see us working, give us plenty of space and #DontCrowdThePlow."
Snow totals varied widely in Connecticut as of Sunday morning, with Norfolk in the northwestern part of the state picking up a foot and communities closer to Long Island Sound receiving only a few inches.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) was also working hard to keep highways and roads clear of snow and ice, but crashes have been reported.
Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) was closed for about an hour on Sunday morning due to a jackknifed tractor-trailer in the town of Charlton, close to the interchange with Interstate 84.
Traffic had been detoured off the highway while crews worked to remove the crash, and the road was reopened around 6:30 a.m. EST.
Another jackknifed tractor-trailer was reported on Interstate 95 in Lexington, which forced officials to close three lanes of the highway.
Speeds on I-90 were also reduced to 40 mph from the New York border to Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
MASSDOT said all highway districts in Massachusetts activated their storm desks and were in snow and ice operations because of the nor’easter.
As of Sunday morning, MASSDOT said it had more than 2,000 pieces of equipment deployed statewide.
Police in Wellesley, Massachusetts, said they responded to reports of a tree that fell onto live wires early Sunday morning. The road was closed so crews could safely remove the tree from the wires and clear debris.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation said it had about 300 pieces of equipment spread out across the state to help with snow removal, and that number may be increased depending on the weather conditions on Sunday.
State police said they responded to reports of 66 weather-related incidents on the roads since Saturday night.
Nor’easter snow totals
Many communities reported more than a foot of snow, with the highest totals so far coming from New York and Massachusetts.
Milton, New York, has the highest snow total so far, with 18 inches.
Manchester Bridge, New York, reported nearly 17 inches, and Haverhill, Massachusetts, both reported 15 inches of snow.
New England braces for flash freeze
The National Weather Service office in Boston said temperatures are expected to fall during the day and into the evening hours in New England, which is expected to lead to a flash freeze.
"Any slush will freeze, causing slippery travel this afternoon and evening," the NWS said on X.
Millions of people remain under winter weather alerts in the Northeast and New England.
Southern and northern New England remain under Winter Weather Advisories through Sunday, but a majority of the region remains under a Winter Storm Warning.