Snowbanks, entombed cars

Two men clearing snow from the roof of a home in North Andover, Mass. Officials across the storm-slammed Northeast are warning of a new danger as rain and higher temperatures set in: Roof collapses.
Two men clearing snow from the roof of a home in North Andover, Mass. Officials across the storm-slammed Northeast are warning of a new danger as rain and higher temperatures set in: Roof collapses. (ELISE AMENDOLA / Associated Press)

Still, as New England and N.Y. dig out, data are showing the snowstorm wasn't that bad.

Posted: February 12, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. - The workweek opened with a white-knuckle ride Monday in the snow-clobbered Northeast as drivers encountered unplowed streets, two-lane roads reduced to a single channel, and snowbanks so high it was impossible see around corners.

After the epic storm swept through much of New England and New York on Friday and Saturday, dumping 1 to 3 feet of snow, most schools remained closed Monday. About 130,000 homes and businesses were still waiting for the electricity to come back on, down from a peak of 650,000. More than 110,000 of those still waiting were in Massachusetts.

The storm was blamed for at least 15 deaths in the United States and Canada, and officials warned of a new danger as rain and higher temperatures set in: roof collapses.

In hard-hit Connecticut, where some places were buried in more than 3 feet of snow, the National Guard used heavy equipment to clear roads in the state's three biggest cities.

In New York, where hundreds of cars became stuck on the Long Island Expressway, some motorists vented their anger at Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not acting more quickly to shut down major roads, as other governors did, and for not plowing more aggressively.

Cuomo has defended his handling of the crisis, saying that more than one-third of the state's snow-removal equipment had been sent to the area. He also said he wanted to give motorists the chance to get home from work.

In the long weather history of the Northeast, the snowstorm wasn't that bad - it ranked 16th on one scale and 25th on another, according to initial data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The measuring systems take into account the size of the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people in its path.

The storm didn't rank very high, said National Climatic Data Center meteorologist Mike Squires, because only a small area, about 190 square miles, had 30 inches or more of snow.

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