January 29, 2023

A winter storm that dumped much snow in the interior Northeast late Sunday and Monday caused hazardous driving conditions that resulted in at least two deaths early in the last week of January.

In addition, the storm caused thousands of people to lose power and canceled schools from Maine to New York.

California's snowpack is nearly 250% above average after repeated storms

(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Deadly Blizzard

A 31-year-old Massachusetts man was killed in a wrong-way collision on Interstate 290 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Sunday night around 9 p.m. local time.

Before state police confirmed the death, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation described the multiple-car collision as causing “serious injuries.”

After Beatrice J. Batista, 25, of Central Falls, Rhode Island, lost her life in an accident on Interstate 95 North, another death was reported in West Warwick, Rhode Island, according to NBC10 Boston.

According to a witness, Batista lost control of the car when it was moving in the right lane, veered onto the shoulder, rolled over and collided with a tree.

According to the broadcaster, Batista was declared dead on the spot.

It was not known if weather played a role in the deaths of two other people killed in collisions, one in Fairhaven, Massachusetts Sunday night and the other in Acton, Massachusetts Monday afternoon.

The New Hampshire State Police said as of 5 a.m. local time Monday, officers had dealt with 90 collisions and cars that went off the road.

Also Read: Extreme Weather and Tornado Risk Return to Southern Parts of US

make travel more difficult

Due to the snow, ice-related dangerous driving conditions, and patchy visibility, the interstate speed limit was reduced to 45 miles per hour throughout New Hampshire AccuWeather.

The New Hampshire State Police said on Twitter, “Reserve extra travel time to get to your destination this morning and clear your car of snow and ice before driving.”

Just before 9 a.m. EST Monday, the Maine State Police reported an increase to 29 collisions and cars off the road in Maine.

The Maine State Police said on Twitter that “drivers speeding for the conditions will cause people to collide and slide off the road.” If they have to drive, drivers should slow down and be careful.

As a precaution, a 45-mph speed limit was imposed on a portion of Interstate 95 in Maine Sunday night.

In addition, the Massachusetts State Police has imposed a speed limit on sections of Interstate 90.

As of Monday morning, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) distributed at least 528 snow removal equipment across the state.

Snowfall had exceeded a foot in some areas of the Northeast as of Monday afternoon. 14.5 inches of snow fell on Mount Etna, Maine, a village west of Bangor. About two hours north of Boston, in Meredith, New Hampshire, 14.5 inches of snow fell Monday afternoon.

Other northeastern states that received snow were Pennsylvania, Massachusetts (7 inches in the town of North Adams), Connecticut (8 inches in the town of Bakerville), and Massachusetts (5 inches in Lawrenceville Township in northern Pennsylvania).

Power failure

As of Monday afternoon, the number of power outages in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine had reached tens of thousands due to thick, wet snow blanketing the inner Northeast, crushing tree branches and power lines. According to PowerOutage.US, 120,000 consumers were without power as of Tuesday morning.

Several Northeast school districts closed for the day Monday as snow fell during the morning commute. According to the Boston Globe, nearly 20 school districts in Massachusetts were closed because of a day of snow.

While some New York schools canceled for the day, many others started with a “two-hour delay.” Due to inclement weather, numerous institutions in Albany, New York opted to allow all classes to be held remotely rather than canceling Monday, according to WNYT.

Universities are just some of the institutions that hold distance learning courses when it’s stormy outside. Virtual learning gained prominence during the pandemic, leading some instructors to conclude that snow days are no longer essential.

Related article: Exposure to major disasters can lead to long-term mental health problems

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