Weather

Winter Storm Blasts Mass. and NH With Snow, Strong Winds and Heavy Rain

Power outages were reported across the region Monday

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A dangerous winter storm brought significant snowfall, strong thunderstorms and blustery winds to New England on Monday.

A foot of snow was forecast for parts of New England, along with strong winds that could cause significant power outages. More than 13,000 Massachusetts customers were without electricity as of 11:30 a.m.

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Eversource called in crews from as far away as Canada to help deal with the storm.

"We've got them dispatched all across the state, with a pretty heavy focus on eastern Massachusetts because of the high wind that's expected overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning," Eversource spokesman Chris McKinnon said.

Eversource has prepared to deal with weather-induced outages throughout the weekend with 6,700 facing outages so far.

Greater Boston was spared most of the snowfall, with rain expected across the city instead.

Sleet and rain were the main threats for much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Forecasters said wind gusts in Boston could reach 70 mph.

Plow trucks were scattered along roads and highways up the East Coast, working to clear the way for travelers. Some crashes were already reported in the early morning hours.

Some flight delays were reported in the Northeast on Monday morning as well, mostly in the New York area.

In Scituate, strong winds were already blowing on Monday morning, and there was standing water in some areas. The waves were already starting to kick up several hours before the scheduled high tide at 10:42 a.m.

Flooding was seen in some coastal and low-lying areas, including Scituate.

Monday's storm wasn't all about precipitation; it depended where in New England you were.

Cedar Point in Scituate is a popular spot for checking out heavy weather... when you can get there. Monday's high winds and a high tide had people turning around.

"No. I'm not doing that. I've lived here too long," Scituate resident Richard Stella said.

Monday's high tide at 10:50 a.m. was at 9.3 feet, and Stella was in the majority -- choosing not to risk driving through the water that crashed over the seawall on Lighthouse Road. There were, however, a few brave souls who took the chance.

"I'm shocked how high it is. Its amazing that it's breached this point," said Carl Abrahamson, of Pembroke. "Seeing this right now breaching over. That's pretty unusual."

David Luczkow lives on the point and says it wasn't always like this.

"That's something we haven't seen until the last couple of years when we get flooding from the harbor," Luczkow said.

Many in Scituate have gotten used to the minor flooding during a storm like Monday's.

"This always happens," Stella said. "We figured we'd take a look. High tide is like half an hour from now. So this is, like, living in Scituate. Not uncommon. Not at all. The only saving grace is that it's warm."

Doug Whyte agrees. He's lived in Scituate since 1978 -- and that's a winter he will never forget.

"This is nothing compared to the blizzard of '78," Whyte said. "I mean, this whole area was flooded. Houses were being destroyed. So this is mild."

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was urging drivers to travel Monday morning only if necessary, with freezing rain and sleet expected to be accompanied by heavy winds in parts of the state.

Similar warnings were issued in New Hampshire, where many counties were expected to get at least three inches of snow.

But at Hampton Beach, people weren't shoveling out from snow -- they were shoveling out from sand.

Things got messy during high tide around noon Monday. Those who live in the area say there was an intense wind that really picked up, sending parts of a nearby roof flying, and high tide flooded the streets.

"You could hear everything blowing, windows shattering, the shingles off the roof flying, it was kind of scary," Christine Freeman said.

A combination of high winds and high tides led to some minor coastal flooding in Scituate and thousands of power outages throughout the region.

Once the water receded, what's left was a thick mucky sand, covering cars.

It took a while before Claire Megan finally found her car. She says it wasn't easy because her car was completely covered in sand.

"You couldn't see the car," she said.

For Christine Freeman, the sand all over her car created plenty of headaches.

"This is just what I just came out too so I don't know what to do," Freeman said. "That's what happens when you live on the beach, that's beach living."

For Cathleen Mittelsteadt, she had an added problem; her car was one of the two that caught fire Monday.

"I guess it was electrical or something, the salt water got in," she said. "Usually when we park here we are absolutely safe, it doesn't come up this high."

Mittelsteadt's car was one of 25 weather-related calls that Hampton Beach firefighters responded to on Monday. Other calls included trees falling onto power lines, but thankfully no one needed to be rescued.

Hampton Beach firefighters were also among 30 fire departments to respond to the massive motel fire in Salisbury, Massachusetts, that was spurred by the wind.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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