‘Turbocharged’ storm clobbers northern New England with snow

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The most powerful nor’easter in nearly two years brought heavy snow, powerful winds and even thunder and lightning to northern New England, leaving tens of thousands of people in the dark Friday and burying some towns under 2 feet of snow.

More than 100,000 homes and businesses in Maine were without electricity at the storm’s peak, and residents were warned that it could take days to restore service. The National Weather Service received reports of snow falling at up to 6 inches per hour.

“It went from just a garden-variety, low-pressure system to a turbocharged storm,” meteorologist Eric Schwibs said.

In Brunswick, resident Jason Weymouth went to bed with a sense of dread as powerful thunderclaps accompanied the falling snow.

“It hit over the house, and it was pretty loud and very strong and very unusual. That set me a little bit on edge,” he said.

By Friday morning, he was among the thousands of Maine residents without power. Compounding his misery: His snowblower was unable to cope with the heavy snow and his wood-carving shop was knocked offline for the day.

The storm’s fury walloped some places and skipped others as powerful bands of snow buried some communities while others just miles away received mostly rain.

Hundreds of cars slid off roads from the beginning of the storm on Thursday through Friday morning, when the sun appeared. In Vermont, a 69-year-old man was killed in Cornwall when his car went off the road in slippery conditions Thursday and crashed into a tree, state police said.

In Maine, the storm was believed to have contributed to a fatal fire in the town of Pownal. The victim’s power had gone out, and investigators suspect he was using an alternative heat source when he died early Friday.