A snowstorm closed schools and emptied roads yesterday, but didn’t break the hearts or backs of Granite Staters.
“Another nuisance,” said Jon Normington, owner of Windham Junction Country Gift Shop and Kitchen, as he pushed a snowblower through the parking lot.
The National Weather Service reported a half foot of snow had fallen across parts of Southern New Hampshire by lunchtime, including Londonderry, Derry and Hampstead.
Meteorologist Tom Hawley said it looked like 10 inches would be the most people would see across the region by the time the storm gave up early last night.
“I think that will be the highest for everybody,” Hawley said.
The snowfall total would have New Hampshire at about normal for a winter, he said.
Concord had 37.1 inches total this winter as of midnight Tuesday, a deficit of about 2.6 inches from a typical Granite State winter.
More could be on the way.
“It’s possible there will be another storm Sunday morning into Sunday night,” Hawley said. “It’s too early to tell how much. Some models show it missing us completely.”
People stayed off the road and that curtailed traffic trouble.
“So far so good,” said New Hampshire State Police Lt. Nicole Armaganian as the storm revved up mid-morning.
“Traffic has picked up a bit this last hour, but nothing like it normally would be,” Armaganian said.
Sgt. Paul Hunt of NHSP Troop B, which patrols Interstate 93, said despite numerous minor accidents it was a very good day.
“People heeded the warning this time around,” Hunt said.
At about 12:15 p.m., the driver of a red Ford 250 pickup struck the guardrail on Interstate 93 north in Londonderry near Exit 5. N.H. State Police said the driver may have had some kind of medical emergency, which caused the crash.
The highway was closed in that area for about 40 minutes. The driver’s name was not released until family members could be notified. No other vehicles were involved.
Schools took the day off. Many announced cancellations sometime on Tuesday, putting students and parents at ease. Other agencies closed, too, such as Pelham Town Hall and Nesmith Library in Windham.
“Traffic volumes are down with numerous school closures, which is helping with the plowing effort,” said New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman William Boynton.
DOT advised motorist to keep highway speeds to 45 mph or less.
They did. Travel through Londonderry during the morning commute moved at 30 mph or lower.
Drivers keeping speeds down may have helped make it safer.
“No major incidents that I am aware of,” Boynton said.
Derry drew public praise for plowing for the first time this winter.
“Shockingly, we have had a plow go by four times in the last two (hours), which is two times more than any of the last few storms put together,” Beth Doherty posted on Facebook.
“I’ve never seen the plow so many times during one storm,” Stephanie Berry Laskiewicz posted. “Thanks DPW!”
Forecasts gave road crews plenty of time to prepare their attack.
“Major corridors in the southern part of the state, including Interstate 93, were pre-treated with brine Tuesday to prevent snow and ice buildups on pavement,” Boynton said.
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport saw cancellations rise as the storm got worse.
“A number of flights were able to get out on schedule this morning, but we have a significant number of cancellations, both arrivals and departures, through this afternoon,” airport spokesman Tom Malafronte said.
Airport crews worked hard to keep roadways and runways open, he said.
Officials hoped to be back on schedule at the airport by this morning.
Pelham school officials yesterday afternoon announced they had postponed the school deliberative session because of concerns about road conditions and traffic safety.
The meeting will be held 7 p.m. Friday in Sherburne Hall, 6 Village Green. Details will be aired about the proposed $22 million Pelham High expansion and renovation.
Sanborn Regional School District also rescheduled its deliberative session for 7 tonight at Sanborn Regional High School, 17 Danville Road, Kingston.