Storm leaves slick roads in northern New England

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Photo -   Snow falls on fishing boats at the state fishing pier in Portsmouth, N.H., Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Fisherman are staying off the water in the Northeast as a major snowstorm moves in. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Snow falls on fishing boats at the state fishing pier in Portsmouth, N.H., Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Fisherman are staying off the water in the Northeast as a major snowstorm moves in. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Plow trucks slid off the Maine Turnpike, a ferry closed in Vermont and a road along the New Hampshire Seacoast was shut down in the wind-packed storm that dumped more than 2 feet of snow overnight in parts of northern New England. More than 12,000 homes and businesses in Maine lost power.

Nearly 30 inches of snow was recorded at Portland's jetport, and 28 inches fell in Goffstown, N.H., the National Weather Service said. Parts of Vermont saw 10 inches.

Jim Pierce, who works for the New Hampshire transportation department and plows driveways in the Concord area as a side business, started at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday and said the road conditions were awful.

"It takes quite a bit to push this back. It's fluffy, but there's a lot of it," he said.

At least two plow trucks slid off the Maine Turnpike during the worst of the storm, a dispatcher said. By midmorning's light, road conditions were improving, she said.

With the storm-related high tide, a section of U.S. Route 1A in Hampton, N.H., was closed said DOT spokesman Bill Boynton. No major problems were reported on other highways, as most people heeded state officials' advice to stay home, Boynton said.

Wind, not snow or tides, was the issue in Vermont. The ferry between Charlotte, Vt., and Essex, N.Y., crossing was closed Saturday because of the gusts. The ferry between Grand Isle, Vt., and Plattsburgh, N.Y., was running as scheduled.

In Maine, the state's utilities worked to restore power to about 12,000 customers left without service due to the wind.

As the storm was nearing its height, at 12:15 a.m., a fire alarm sounded at Portland's largest hotel, with guests scrambling out of their rooms and the fire department showing up at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.

Because of the weather, guests in the 239-room Holiday Inn by the Bay were allowed to remain in the lobby for more than an hour instead of waiting outside in the blowing snow as firefighters investigated, said hotel official Riley Hart.

In New Hampshire, Public Service reported 246 customers without service, and Green Mountain Power in Vermont reported none.

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