BOSTON — A fierce nor’easter lashed the Northeast with hurricane-force winds, heavy snow and widespread power outages and on Wednesday millions of people faced yet another cleanup.
With spring tantalizingly in their grasp after the switch to daylight saving time, many were left shaking their heads — and wielding shovels they had hoped would not be needed again — after the third major storm in two weeks buried some towns beneath 2 feet (0.61 meters) of snow on Tuesday.
"The groundhog was right. Six more weeks of winter, and probably then some," Paul Knight, of Portland, Maine, said as snow accumulated on his eyebrows.
The National Weather Service said Derry, New Hampshire, got 25 inches (63 centimeters). Burrillville, Rhode Island, and Kezar Falls, Maine, both got 20 inches (51 centimeters).
High winds and blowing snow led meteorologists to categorize the storm as a blizzard in parts of New England, including Boston. Gusts approached 70 mph on Cape Cod, the weather service said.
At one point, more than a quarter-million people were without power in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Utility companies said they would have extra crews out on Wednesday to restore power to those still without it.
Amtrak suspended all service on Tuesday between Boston and New York City. The railroad later announced that most service between the two cities would resume on Wednesday.
Road and air travel also was disrupted: Slick roads were blamed for at least one death in North Carolina, and the flight-tracking site FlightAware reported more than 1,500 canceled flights, including some out of Tampa International Airport.
Janice James’ house in Osterville on Cape Cod was in the dark again after losing power for three days in the last storm. James and her four children spent the day eating baked goods she made before the storm and hoping the lights and heat would come back soon.
"We are freezing," the 39-year-old said.
In Rhode Island, the snow did not stop residents from getting to church. In East Greenwich, the Rev. Bernard Healey said he celebrated noon Mass with "two hearty souls" who came despite the nor’easter.
"If I lost power, we’d (still) celebrate Mass," Healey said. "We would just use more candles."