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New Englanders relieved as storm proves nuisance, not menace

By MARK PRATT
Created: 03/21/2016 2:21 PM

BOSTON (AP) — Steady snowfall made for a sloppy Monday morning commute across much of New England, but many residents were relieved that the spring storm wasn't nearly as bad as first forecast.

After initial forecasts of up to a foot or more of snow, parts of New Hampshire and Maine got about 8 inches, according to preliminary National Weather Service numbers. Boston got 3.6 inches, while some inland areas of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island got 6 to 7 inches.

By noon, the snow had stopped and the sun was out in much of the region.

Plymouth nurse Kathy McKee was pleasantly surprised when the storm didn't dump as much snow as predicted, about 3 to 4 inches when she left her home.

"I'm relieved now and back looking forward to spring again," she said.

Greg Crawford, manager of a rental car company in Buzzards Bay, was unimpressed. He took a shot at forecasters who overestimated the storm's impact.

"I think their ratings are down compared to last year, so they needed something," he said.

Schools across New England either closed for the day or delayed opening by two hours.

Police in New England reported several morning accidents, likely caused by slick roads.

Power outages were minimal, but dozens of flights in and out of Logan International Airport in Boston were canceled.

Kathy Fernandez was unfazed.

"It's New England. No big deal," said the Providence, Rhode Island, resident, briskly walking to work as flurries fell. "It's just a little flurry. For the amount of snow we've had this year, I can't complain."

The snow is expected to quickly melt as temperatures rise into the 50s by midweek.

The storm was a prelude to some unsettled early spring weather in the U.S.

The National Weather Service said the stage was set for heavy snow Wednesday in the central Plains, upper Midwest and Great Lakes. The same system could bring thunderstorms to the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley.

The system was expected to bring rain to much of southern New England, with an outside shot at snow, and snow to northern reaches of the region.

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Denise Lavoie in Whitman, Massachusetts; William Kole in Bourne, Massachusetts; Matt O'Brien and Michelle Smith in Providence, Rhode Island; Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire; and Ulana Ilnytzky in New York City contributed to this story.

(Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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