NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

December 28, 2012

Storm causes accidents, outages

Slippery roads lead to many accidents

By Alex Lippa
Staff writer

---- — Southern New Hampshire was hit hard yesterday by a storm that dumped more than 6 inches of snow on some towns, causing numerous accidents and also power outages.

In Salem, a truck from Freeman Oil flipped over on Old Rockingham Road about 10 a.m. No one was injured

“We were extremely fortunate this wasn’t something a lot worse,” Assistant Fire Chief Paul Parisi said.

Parisi said no oil leaked from the truck, which was about a quarter full. The driver kicked out the windshield to escape the overturned truck. Authorities evacuated a mother and toddler from a nearby home as a precaution.

The road was closed for more than three hours while the truck was righted. A hazardous materials team responded.

The snow started late Wednesday and lasted much of yesterday. New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton characterized the storm as a fairly expensive one.

“We have had 740 plows throughout the state working on the roads,” Boynton said. “It costs us usually around $73,000 per hour with something like this, so it gets pretty pricey.”

Boynton said although roads were slippery, few drivers were out because of the holiday and storm.

“For a storm of this magnitude, it’s been pretty good,” Boynton said. “We have had just some minor incidents and those who are out there have been driving well.”

About 1,200 electrical customers in Windham and Derry lost power early yesterday after a car crashed into a utility pole on North Lowell Road in Windham. Power was restored to all customers by 9 a.m., according to Public Service Company spokesman Mike Skelton.

Boynton said the outage affected electronic message boards on Interstate 93, requiring use of roadside construction signs to tell drivers the speed limit was lowered from 65 to 45 mph.

More than 900 Unitil customers in Atkinson lost electricity about 1 p.m after a tree fell on wires on Main Street. Unitil spokesman Alec O’Meara said all power was restored just after 2 p.m.

There were two serious accidents in Kingston. A head-on crash on Route 111 about 9:30 a.m. sent three people to the hospital. In the afternoon, police and fire officials responded to a rollover on Old Mill Road.

While New Hampshire was slammed with snow, the Merrimack Valley received heavy rain. The rain was expected to turn into snow last night.

Tom Malafronte, assistant director of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, said the airport only had a few canceled flights yesterday, mostly because of inclement weather in other parts of the country.

“We are moving along pretty well today,” Malafronte said. “Our crews have been doing a great job dealing with the snow and limited visibility.”

Most of the storm was over by 3 p.m. Londonderry received about 7.5 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The forecast for today calls for cloudy skies with a high temperature of about 32 degrees.