New Hampshire is facing a huge snowstorm, bringing up to 2 feet of snow in southern parts of the state and wind gusts of 60 mph along the coast. Here’s a look at how the storm might impact the state:
Blizzard warnings were issued from Monday night until 4 a.m. Wednesday for eastern Hillsborough, Rockingham and Strafford counties, which may see 18 to 25 inches of snow. Winter storm warnings were issued for the rest of the state, with Concord and parts north forecast to get 8 inches to a foot of snow.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
State government, including the courts and liquor stores, will be closed Tuesday. Gov. Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency. Hassan is not imposing a travel ban, but she and state public safety officials are encouraging people to stay off the roads and private businesses to consider closing.
Utilities in New Hampshire are securing extra crews from outside the state as they prepare to monitor the storm. Unitil spokesman Alec O’Meara says that in a blizzard, bucket trucks will be unable to extend their arms because of high winds at the storm’s peak. He says, though, that the utility will still be able to work with first responders to address downed wire calls. Public Service of New Hampshire says it is pre-staging employees and materials in locations across the state. New Hampshire Electric Cooperative districts in nine locations around the state are stocked with emergency supplies.
At Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Delta and United flights scheduled for Monday afternoon and evening were canceled ahead of the storm because of bad weather at connecting airports. Manchester airport spokesman Tom Malafronte says the last round of inbound flights — which usually stay the night to get things going again the next day — will be canceled so there will likely be no flights Tuesday. The airport hasn’t closed for a snowstorm in more than 25 years.
Meanwhile, state transportation crews are fixing equipment, preparing over 700 plow trucks, checking roads and pushing snowbanks back if necessary to make room for the new storm. The cost of cleaning up is likely to be very expensive: The Transportation Department says the cost of snow removal on state highways, including turnpikes, is about $100,000 an hour.
The state Legislature is postponing committee meetings until Wednesday. Numerous school districts announced they would be closed Tuesday. A ceremony expected to be attended by 400 people to honor former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch in Manchester on Tuesday night was postponed a week.