MONTPELIER, Vt. – Schoolchildren across northern New England got some more time off Thursday as the latest in a succession of winter storms dumped up to 17 inches of snow on the region.
Slippery road conditions caused dozens of cars to slide off highways, and traffic was backed up on Interstate 89 in Berlin after a truck carrying dog food overturned in the median. Another truck accident, this one on Vermont Route 17 in Fair Haven, closed that road for a time early Thursday.
“The thing we always battle is getting people to reduce their speed when there are inclement weather conditions,” said Vermont State Police Lt. John Flannigan. “We always have a number of drivers who don’t do that.”
But no serious injuries were reported in any of the accidents. People across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine seem to be coping with a snowy winter.
And it’s not over yet.
The National Weather Service says another storm could hit Saturday and Sunday, while long-range forecasts call for another wintry blast next week.
“We’re still in the middle of the heart of winter,” said Jason Neilson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Burlington.
The Weather Service reported 17 inches of snow in New Haven, 16.5 inches in Cornwall, 15.9 in Winooski, 15 in North Calais, and 14 inches in Morrisville. Lesser amounts fell in southern Vermont.
In Maine, the fast-moving storm dumped nearly 8 inches of snow overnight on parts of the state, prompting several dozen school cancellations on Thursday.
The timing of the storm made it difficult for road crews to clear the snow before dawn, making for a messy morning commute.
The forecast had called for up to 9 inches of snow on the southern coast of Maine and up to 10 inches in the western mountains. But actual tallies fell short of that with 7.5 inches of snow in Cumberland, 5.8 inches in Farmington, and 4.5 inches in Rumford.
But people coped. And the snow was frosting on the cake for ski resorts, snow-reliant businesses and anyone else who counts on winter weather.
“This is fantastic. It’s like 16 inches of good snow out there,” said Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.