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Storm brings big snowfall in northern New England

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm •  Published: February 9, 2013

A winter storm that buried Maine's largest city under record snowfall and lashed the region with high winds brought travel to a crawl and prompted people to take to city streets in snowshoes and cross-country skis.

Portland recorded its largest snowfall in decades — 31.9 inches at the Portland International Jetport, surpassing the city's previous record of 27.1 inches set in 1979, according to the National Weather Service in Maine, which classified the storm as a blizzard. And New Hampshire's capital city recorded its second-biggest snowfall on record.

Gusts topping 50 mph caused whiteout conditions for motorists, and at least two plow trucks slid off the Maine Turnpike.

"I felt like I was in a snow globe that someone kept shaking," said Sam Napolitano, who was on a private snow removal crew Saturday in Portland. "It's a humbling experience to see how much hard work this can be sometimes."

Searchers were looking for a 75-year-old man who went missing in Passadumkeag, Maine, after driving out into the storm.

Most people seemed to heed officials' warnings and stayed home, leaving highways largely empty and some cities looking like ghost towns. Others relished the fresh powder, which was welcomed by outdoors enthusiasts and skiers.

Steven Pavlik gave his snow blower a good workout Saturday morning in Concord, N.H., even though he didn't have to go anywhere for the rest of the day.

"Nope, just having fun with the snow blower," Pavlik said. "It's not unusual. We used to get these all the time so it's nothing big."

At Carrabassett Valley in Maine, where 14 inches fell, skiers braved poor driving conditions to go skiing. Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said that in some ways, a foot of snow in Boston was as good as a foot of snow at the resort.

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