Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

April Fool: Big Storm Dumps 3 Feet of Snow on Northeast

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

April Fool: Big Storm Dumps 3 Feet of Snow on Northeast

Article excerpt

New England towns had begun putting their plows away after a winter of below-average snowfall, and hardware stores had set up their displays of patio furniture. And then came April Fools' Day!

Boston started digging out Tuesday after its biggest snowfall ever in April, a northeaster that blew away the tip of one of the masts on the USS Constitution, the sturdy frigate known as Old Ironsides.

Snow piled up almost 3 feet deep from New Jersey into Massachusetts, shutting down airports, closing schools and knocking out electricity to hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom will not have their power restored for days. Five storm-related deaths were reported. Massachusetts Gov. William Weld declared a state of emergency that was expected to last through this afternoon and called out the National Guard to help clear roads and open shelters. From Philadelphia to Concord, N.H., from New York's mid-Hudson Valley to the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the snow combined with near hurricane winds to bring all forms of transportation to a halt. "It's a practical joke. It's April Fools' Day," Christie Humphrey told her astonished 2-year-old son, Sam, as he looked at the snow in North Andover, Mass. Strangers to the area thought differently. "This is what I think of in a Currier and Ives print. It's just beautiful," said Joe Moore, a visitor from Oklahoma City enjoying Boston. Forecasters said the snow probably would melt gradually without causing any serious flooding when temperatures climb into the 50s and 60s by the weekend. Most of the winter's snow already had melted, and there has been little spring rain to soak the ground. The huge storm blew rain, sleet and snow from Maryland to Maine beginning Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, 33 inches of snow had fallen at Milford, Mass.; 32 inches in upstate New York; 30 inches at Hopkinton, Mass., and High Point, N.J.; and 27 inches at Jaffrey, N.H. The Baltimore Orioles postponed their opening baseball game against the Kansas City Royals because of wind gusting to 33 mph. Ground crews shoveled snow off the field. Thousands of stranded travelers spent the night in temporary shelters in northeastern Pennsylvania and Chester County in suburban Philadelphia as snowfall totals there ranged from 6 inches to as much as 2 feet. …

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