Winter storm brings season’s first significant snowfall to state

Staff and wire reports

A winter storm storm Friday morning blanketed the area with snow complicating the morning commute around the state and closing coronavirus testing sites.

The decision to close schools in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire was made Thursday, hours before the storm arrived early Friday morning. 

More than eight inches of snow fell in Southington by morning. The highest snow totals in Connecticut approached a foot, with 12 inches reported in Hebron.

Officials urged caution on the roads and reduced speed limits in some areas, but there were multiple reports of crashes across the region.

A commuter bus spun out of control and wound up blocking multiple lanes on the Massachusetts Turnpike just outside Boston early Friday. No injuries were reported, but the bus caused a huge traffic jam.

A tractor-trailer jackknifed in Greenwich and forced a temporary closure of Interstate 95 southbound, state police said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday night declared a state of emergency for the entire state and delayed opening state offices for nonessential employees until 11 a.m.

The storm also affected coronavirus testing sites, many of which have been overwhelmed with long lines and waits for days. Some testing sites in Rhode Island delayed their openings until later in the day, when the storm was expected to start tapering off. Testing sites in Connecticut closed.

Philadelphia and Newark Liberty International airports reported many flights were canceled or delayed. Airports across the Northeast advised travelers to check with their airlines.

From late Thursday through Friday afternoon, 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 centimeters) of snow were expected in parts of central and southern New Hampshire, and south-central and southwest Maine, according to the weather service.

The storm brought record-setting snow to some areas of the South on Thursday.

Nashville saw 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) of snowfall Thursday, shattering the city’s previous Jan. 6 record of 4 inches (10 centimeters) that had stood since 1977, the National Weather Service said. Freezing rain and sleet coated areas around the Tennessee-Alabama state border, said Scott Unger, a meteorologist for the service in Nashville.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear closed state offices at noon Thursday and later extended the closure through Friday.

The largest snowfall in Kentucky by Thursday evening was 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 centimeters) in a swath from Elizabethtown to Bardstown and Nicholasville to Lexington, said meteorologist Brian Schoettmer of the weather service’s Louisville office. Eastern Kentucky recorded 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters), and far western Kentucky had about 3 inches (8 centimeters).


Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz in New York; Shawn Marsh in Trenton, New Jersey; Dave Collins in Glastonbury, Connecticut; and Bill Kole in Warwick, Rhode Island; contributed to this report.


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