EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 2, 2011

Storm cancels all but essentials

Click to see and purchase photos from the storm.

With two snowstorms whacking Southern New Hampshire in less than 24 hours, virtually the entire area is shut down today.

By early yesterday afternoon, many schools had sent their students home early. Rockingham Superior Court postponed all hearings today, towns canceled public meetings, and the state Legislature called off all business. Schools canceled classes for today as well.

While the region received close to 6 inches of snow yesterday, a lot more is on the way today.

"You can add about another foot," said National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Ekster. "Most of it's going to be snow, but there may be some sleet."

The snow stopped falling last night, but it was to start again before midnight and not stop until late tonight, he said. Today's high temperature is expected to be in the low 20s.

The total snow accumulation for the two-day storm is expected to be about 12 to 18 inches, Ekster said.

If there is sleet, it would start falling this afternoon, the meteorologist said.

Although yesterday's snow was light and fluffy, it wreaked havoc on some local roads, especially Interstate 93.

While most drivers avoided a slippery morning commute since the first snowflakes didn't fall until after 8 a.m., I-93 was transformed into a skating rink by 10 a.m.

As the snowfall became heavier, vehicles started to slide off the highway. Accidents were reported between exits 2 and 5, but there were no serious injuries, state police Sgt. Lawrence Bolduc said.

"We've had a number of minor accidents and quite a few vehicles off the road," he said. "We were very busy in the southern area near Exit 3."

One of those accidents included a car that slid off the road on I-93 south in Salem near Exit 2. The vehicle was upended, its front-end buried in the snow. About the same time, police responded to an accident a short distance away involving a motor home and a pickup truck pulling a camper.

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