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Nor'easter Causes Harsh Driving Conditions Throughout New England

Roads were slick across Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where speed limits were lowered and parking bans put into place

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As a nor'easter sweeps through New England Saturday, dropping rain and snow amid high winds, the conditions for drivers on the road are looking rough.

By midday, central Massachusetts had been impacted significantly. The speed limit on the Massachusetts Turnpike was reduced to 40 miles per hour -- state troopers said they'd responded to several crashes. That speed limit will be enforced between the east bound Ludlow Travel Plaza and the exit for Route 128.

Today: Heavy rain to heavy snow. Temperature falling through the 30s. Wind gusting past 50 mph by evening. Tonight: Heavy snow and wind gradually diminish, lows near 30. Tomorrow: Sun and clouds, high in the 30s, wind from the northwest 20-25 mph.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was working under "snow and ice operations" statewide, with more than 750 pieces of equipment working to keep roads clear, the department said.

Highways in New Hampshire had reduced speed limits as well, according to the state's Department of Transportation.

Oakham, Massachusetts, firefighters were called to an overturned car on slick roads Saturday morning.

Palmer Fire Department also reported several accidents today.

In Dudley, Massachusetts, the town has imposed a parking ban until at least noon on Sunday to help the highway department plow the roads. Any vehicle left on the roadway is subject to ticketing and towing, a statement said.

In Dover, New Hampshire, a similar ban will go into effect Saturday night at 10 p.m. and will last until 6 a.m. Sunday. For those parked downtown, that ban will only last from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

The roof of the parking garage will be closed to ensure effective snow removal. Parking is also prohibited in the Third Street, First Street and Belknap parking lots, as well as the public parking spaces in the Orchard Street lot. Those who chose to park in the Fourth Street lot must be parked in the outside spaces only. Parking in the library lot is limited to the outermost row.

Nashua, New Hampshire, declared a snow emergency from 10 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday, and will tow any cars parked on the street and in city parking lots. Free parking will be available in the Elm Street and High Street garages immediately following the announcement of the snow emergency. Residents do not need to wait until 10 p.m. to move their vehicle into the parking garage. The overnight parking program has been suspended.

In Connecticut, the Union Volunteer Fire Department posted a video of snow-covered roads.

The storm started by dropping heavy rain in southern New Hampshire and western Massachusetts, then Worcester.

Dropping temperatures was expected to affect standing water on roadways that already made travel difficult with big puddles and hydroplaning concerns. Adding heavy snow would encourage slush and then freezing of the road surfaces, with snow falling on top of that ice.

TIMELINE: An Hour-by-Hour Look at This Weekend's Nor'easter

At Barrows Hardware in Worcester, store owner Brian Barrows has been preparing for the storm for days, keeping shelves stocked with supplies for the first big storm of the year.

"We sold some shovels, rock salt, calcium, windshield wash, snow brushes," he said. "We're going to do some snow removal."

In nearby Leominster, there should be plenty of snowplows on the road. The city has about 60 pieces of equipment ready to go. More than 60 contractors have been hired to help plow the city and keep things pretty.

From Leominster to Worcester, people are preparing the streets for the first big storm of the year.
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