BOSTON – Whipping wind, plunging temperatures and a coating of snow and ice caused power outages and whiteout conditions, ending the Northeast's brief flirtation with spring.
The storm dumped as much as 10 inches of snow at Rutland, west of Boston, the National Weather Service (search) said Wednesday. Six inches of snow accumulated in East Hartford, Conn., and northern New Jersey's Blairstown Township reported 4 inches.
Logan International Airport (search) closed shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday because of whiteout conditions in blowing snow, but reopened one of its runways early Wednesday, Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Phil Orlandella said. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport overnight.
Massachusetts utilities reported about 22,000 homes and businesses lost power during the storm Tuesday, with fewer than 3,000 still blacked out Wednesday.
The storm had largely blown out of New England by Wednesday, with snow lingering only in northern Maine, but temperatures were as low as 2 above zero at Pittsfield, Mass., with wind chills well below zero. Just two days earlier, temperatures in parts of the Northeast had hit the 60s.
Little warming is forecast through the end of the week, and the National Weather Service forecast a chance of more snow across the Northeast on Friday.
The storm system battered much of the East on Tuesday, from the snow and ice in New England to vicious thunderstorms in North Carolina.
The wind hit 61 mph in New Jersey's Sussex County, 50 mph in Massachusetts at in Weymouth and Scituate, south of Boston, and 86 mph at Wilmington, N.C. Kitty Hawk, N.C., had an unofficial measurement of a gust to 110 mph.
Several accidents involving jackknifed tractor-trailer rigs shut down sections of Interstate 95 in Connecticut during the night, and New Jersey highways were clogged by scores of wrecks.
"I have more accidents than I have troopers," New Jersey State Police Capt. Al Della Fave said.
The thunderstorms in North Carolina toppled trees and damaged buildings, including an 80,000-square-foot airport hangar under construction that was toppled at Elizabeth City. In Cumberland County, an estimated 23,000 chickens died when the wind blew the roofs off a pair of chicken houses. At least 85,000 utility customers lost power.
The storm extended a snowy winter for Massachusetts, pushing Boston's snow tally to 82 inches, nearly doubling the annual average of 42 inches. The record of 107.6 inches was set in 1995-96. Some coastal towns to the north and south have seen significantly more, including 18 inches that fell on Cape Cod in one December storm.