BOSTON — A behemoth storm packing hurricane-force wind gusts and blizzard conditions swept through the Northeast overnight, where more than 650,000 homes and businesses in the densely populated region lost power and New Englanders awoke Saturday to more than 2 feet of snow.
More than 38 inches of snow fell in Milford in central Connecticut, and an 82-mph wind gust was recorded in nearby Westport. Areas of southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire notched at least 2 feet — with more falling. Airlines scratched more than 5,300 flights through Saturday, and the three major airports serving New York City as well as Boston's Logan Airport closed.
Flooding was also a concern along the coast, and the possibility led to the evacuation of two neighborhoods in Quincy, Mass., said Fire Deputy Gary Smith.
Snow piled up so high in some places Saturday that people couldn't open their doors to get outside. Streets were mostly deserted throughout New England save for plow 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. Streets in many places were impassable.
Some of the worst of the storm appeared to hit Connecticut, where all roads were ordered closed Saturday. The storm made travel nearly impossible even for emergency responders who found themselves stuck on highways all night. In the shoreline community of Fairfield, police and firefighters could not come in to work, so the overnight shift was staying on duty, said First Selectman Michael Tetreau.
"It's a real challenge out there," Tetreau said. "The roads are not passable at this point. We are asking everyone to stay home and stay safe."
In the Hartford suburb of South Windsor, residents used snowblowers to clear driveways that ended in huge snow drifts, with the roads still clogged with roughly 2 feet of undisturbed snow. Some cars were buried to the point they were nearly invisible. Snow had stopped falling, but the swirling wind was blowing fine, powdery snow from trees and rooftops.