Storm Brings Mix Of Rain And Snow To New England

A powerful coastal storm packing rain, snow and sleet and wind gusts topping 60 mph knocked power out to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, shut down schools and slowed the morning commute Monday across New England.

More than 60,000 homes and businesses were in the dark Monday morning in Maine alone, and there were sporadic power outages elsewhere across the region. Portland International Jetport recorded a gust of 63 mph, and gusts topped 60 mph at the Isles of Shoals off New Hampshire. In Massachusetts, Worcester Regional Airport recorded a 52 mph wind gust.

Dozens of schools were closed in Maine because there was no electricity.

Central Maine Power Co. officials monitored the storm over the weekend, but it was more powerful than expected when it crossed into the state, said CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice.

Numerous trees and branches fell onto power lines, and more than 40 utility poles had been toppled as of Monday morning, she said. Most outages were in southern and central Maine, but CMP didn't have any time estimates on when power would be restored.

"We were expecting some wind, but the severity of it was more than we were expecting," Rice said.

There was no significant snow, but there was enough rain to cause flooding and close roads to traffic. The National Weather Service said the storm will continue through Tuesday.

The complex storm pattern involves two low-pressure systems, one at the surface and the other at upper levels, that rotated off the coast from New Jersey to Maine resulting in heavy squalls and blustery conditions, said weather service meteorologist Butch Roberts.

"It was definitely a strong storm. It got progressively stronger and deeper as it approached the coast," he said.

This program aired on November 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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