Blizzard Barrels Into Northeastern U.S.

BOSTON (AP) — Its winds howling at more than 70 mph, the Blizzard of 2015 slammed Boston and surrounding parts of New England on Tuesday with none of the mercy it unexpectedly showed New York City, piling up more than 2 feet of snow.

The storm punched out a 40-to-50-foot section of a seawall in Marshfield, Massachusetts, badly damaging a vacant home. In Newport, Rhode Island, it toppled a 110-foot replica of a Revolutionary War sailing vessel as the ship lay in drydock, breaking its mast and puncturing its hull.

The blizzard’s force and relentlessness stunned even winter-hardened New Englanders.

“It’s a wicked storm,” Jeff Russell said as he fought a mounting snowdrift that was threatening to cover one of the windows of his home in Scarborough, Maine.

The snow in New England began Monday evening, continued all day Tuesday and was not expected to ease until late evening. And the bitter cold could hang on: The low temperature Wednesday is expected to be 1 degree, and forecasters said the mercury will not climb above freezing for the next week or so.

Much of the Northeast — particularly the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor of more than 35 million people — had braced for a debilitating blast Monday evening and into Tuesday after forecasters warned of a storm of potentially historic proportions.

The weather lived up to its billing in New England and on New York’s Long Island, which also got clobbered. National Weather Service director Louis Uccellini said the storm may prove to be one of the biggest ever in some parts of Massachusetts.

But in the New York City area, the snowfall wasn’t all that bad, falling short of a foot. By Tuesday morning, buses and subways were up and running again, and driving bans there and in New Jersey had been lifted.

The glancing blow left forecasters apologizing and politicians defending their near-total shutdown on travel. Some commuters grumbled, but others sounded a better-safe-than-sorry note and even expressed sympathy for the weatherman.

“I think it’s like the situation with Ebola: If you over-cover, people are ready and prepared, rather than not giving it the attention it needs,” said Brandon Bhajan, a security guard at a New York City building.

Uccellini told reporters that the weather service should have done a better job of communicating the uncertainty in its forecast.

In New England, nearly 21 inches of snow coated Boston’s Logan Airport by early afternoon, while nearby Framingham had 2½ feet and Worcester 26 inches, according to unofficial totals. The town of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, reported 33 inches.

At least 30,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Boston-Cape Cod area, including the entire island of Nantucket.

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