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February 9, 2013

Storm blankets Northeast with 1 to 3 feet of snow

BOSTON (AP) — A howling storm across the Northeast left the New York-to-Boston corridor shrouded in 1 to 3 feet of snow Saturday, stranding motorists on highways overnight and piling up drifts so high that some homeowners couldn’t get their doors open. More than 650,000 homes and businesses were left without electricity.

At least three deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the storm, including that of a New York man killed when the tractor he was using to plow his driveway ran off the edge of the road.

More than 38 inches of snow fell in Milford, Conn., and an 82 mph wind gust was recorded in nearby Westport. Areas of southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire got at least 2 feet of snow, with more falling.

Roads in many places were impassable. Across much of New England, snowed-over cars looked like white blobs. Streets were mostly deserted save for snowplow crews and a few hardy souls walking dogs or venturing out to take pictures. In Boston’s Financial District, the only sound was an army of snowblowers clearing sidewalks.

The digging-out went more smoothly in some places than in others.

A little more than 11 inches fell in New York, but the city was “in great shape” and “dodged a bullet,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, predicting streets would be cleared by the end of the day. The New York region’s three major airports — LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, N.J. — were up and running again by late morning after shutting down the evening before.

But hundreds of motorists had abandoned their vehicles on New York’s Long Island, and even snowplows were getting stuck. Emergency workers used snowmobiles to try to reach stranded motorists, some of whom spent the night stuck in their cars.

Richard Ebbrecht, a chiropractor, left his office in Brooklyn at 3 p.m. on Friday and head for his home in Middle Island, N.Y., in Suffolk County, but got stuck six or seven times on the Long Island Expressway and other roads.

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