| BOSTON, March 8
BOSTON, March 8 New England bore the brunt of a
stronger-than-expected winter storm on Friday, which brought a
damaging storm surge to coastal Massachusetts and dropped more
than a foot (30 cm) of snow on Boston and its surroundings.
The greatest damage came to Plum Island, a coastal community
about 40 miles (65 km) north of Boston, where a high tide and
heavy storm surge pushed the sea about 10 feet (3 meters) higher
than normal, causing one two-story beach front home to collapse
on its side.
"This was a home that, coming into this morning, had its
foundation compromised, there was a crack in it. It was not a
surprise at this point," said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, adding that the state
was "watching a number of other houses" along the same coastal
road, Annapolis Way.
None of the houses at risk are currently occupied and no one
was injured in the house that partially collapsed, Judge said.
"The next tide could finish it," said William Shute, interim
fire chief of nearby Newburyport, Massachusetts. "It's pretty
much had it - it's going to have to be removed."
While Plum Island so far has seen the worst damage, other
towns up and down the Massachusetts shoreline also face high
flooding, Judge said.
"In many areas, between openings in sea walls and things
like that, at the very least we expect what you get with major
coastal flooding - not just flooded-over roads but damaged
roads," Judge said.
"The same thing with homes, not just flooded-out basements,
but losing porches and having other structural issues with them
after the tide goes back out," he added.
MORE SNOW THAN EXPECTED
Some 12 to 20 inches of snow (30 cm to 50 cm) fell around
the Boston area, with the heaviest snowfall to the south and
west of the city, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm was felt in Connecticut and across southern
Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
"This was a heavier than expected snowfall," said
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, noting the worst of the
storm came during the morning rush hour. Snow was expected to
continue to fall into the evening commute.
"The afternoon commute, we believe, if people take their
time about leaving, should be better, because the snow will be
tapering off," Patrick told reporters.
Inland, the state was experiencing a more typical winter
storm, with minor traffic accidents on roadways and about 8,000
homes and businesses without power, but nothing out of the
ordinary for a New England winter, Judge said.
Boston's Logan International Airport experienced scattered
delays through the morning as a result of the storm.
"Our snow crews have been at it all night long and we've
been keeping ahead of the storm," said Richard Walsh, an airport
Snow fell steadily throughout the morning in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, where some residents carried umbrellas to shield
themselves as they walked along freshly plowed streets.
"The car's a little buried; we might see if we can get it out
later," said Karen Sheh, 30, a stay-at-home mother of two boys.
"I'm getting a little cabin fever, so my husband stayed home an
extra hour so he could watch them and I could get out for a
Jayson Daley, 21, who wore snow pants and a parka as he left
his house, said he planned to spend the day working.
"I'm probably going to be shoveling for hours today," he
said. "I go out every storm and shovel. I have a bunch of houses
I go out and do."
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Phil