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Winter storm hits New England, leaving 200,000 without power

A winter storm hit parts of New England on Saturday, bringing high winds and heavy snow that cut power to more than 200,000 customers in the area.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for much of New England. The storm is expected to subside on Sunday evening, he said, but not before leaving about a foot of snow over most of the area, with as much as 18 inches in some areas.

“The combination of heavy snowfall and strong winds will lead to dangerous travel conditions, whiteout visibilities and the potential for tree damage / power outages,” the weather service said on Saturday.

In Maine, more than 119,000 customers lost power on Saturday, according to the PowerOutage website. Over 42,000 customers have lost power in Massachusetts and the same number in New Hampshire, and over 5,000 in Connecticut have been left in the dark.

Roberta Grady, a business consultant who lives in Hooksett, NH, just north of Manchester, lost her power as she and her husband chopped down the base of their Christmas tree with a power saw. “He blew up a circuit” was her first thought, she said, before realizing the loss of power was due to the storm.

They have a generator, which they used to power their heat and refrigerator, as well as the television in their living room, where the cable was still working, she said in a phone interview on Saturday night.

She said they were ready to watch the movie “White Christmas,” a tradition when setting up the tree.

Although her home was spared any damage, she said a tree fell on a friend’s shed.

“The snow is super heavy,” said Ms. Grady, who estimated that four inches of snow had fallen at Hooksett. It was so dense that it made the bushes and tree branches fall. “It’s gonna be a long night,” she said.

Christine Gagnon, a UPS driver from New Hampshire, got stuck in a dead end in Bedford, near Manchester, when a tree fell, blocking the exit. A resident appeared with a chainsaw and was able to make enough room for a car to pass.

“Luckily I got out and delivered my last package and finished for the day,” Ms. Gagnon said in a text message.

The National Weather Service has warned that strong winds could also lead to high waves, coastal flooding and beach erosion on the New England coast.

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