Snow makes for frowns on Northeast roads, smiles on slopes

A man shovels the sidewalk in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. Snow from snow showers earlier in the week have blanketed Kalamazoo with inches of snow. (Chelsea Purgahn/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Snow and freezing rain made for messy commutes and closed hundreds of schools Monday as a snowstorm pushed into the Northeast.

The storm left nearly a foot of snow on the ground in some spots in the Great Lakes and upper Midwest before dumping up to about a half-foot across New York and northern New England. Boston, New York City and Philadelphia were spared.

Speeds were reduced on snow-packed roads and there were many school delays and closures from Michigan to Maine. Authorities said there were numerous crashes on the Maine Turnpike, and crashes on local roads in Gorham and New Portland, Maine, resulted in two fatalities.

Portland, Maine, got about 4 inches of snow, but that wasn’t enough to close down the Portland Fish Exchange, an auction house that was preparing for the arrival of day boat scallops later Monday.

“We’ve got a crew in here doing snow removal and repairs and whatnot,” said auction house general manager Bert Jongerden. “It’s pretty rare that we happen to close here. This is just a little bit of nuisance snow, really.”

Pats Peak Ski Area in Henniker, New Hampshire, had received 6 to 8 inches by midmorning. Spokeswoman Lori Rowell said the ski area that opened Saturday with about half its trails saw more children Monday, thanks to school closures.

“We love it,” Rowell said. “There are lots kids there that took advantage of that opportunity.”

But it wasn’t all fun and games.

Brian Audet, of Epsom, said he saw one car off the road as he drove into Concord early Monday. “It was slow going, but they stayed ahead of it, and it was pretty decent,” he said.

David Holden, owner of Hair Biz Salon in Concord, was among those spending the morning shoveling the city’s newly expanded sidewalks.

“The roads are really slippery this morning. It’s a first bigger snow for us in New Hampshire, we probably have 6 or 7 inches, and so they were a little slippery and people were moving slow,” he said.

The National Weather Service said that 3 to 6 inches fell in Maine and New Hampshire while Vermont saw 8 inches in West Brattleboro and 2 to 4 inches in most other places.

Hundreds of Michigan schools closed Monday as the state dug out from more than 10 inches of snow that fell over the weekend. In southeastern Michigan, schools were closed Monday in Detroit and surrounding Wayne County. Wayne State University in Detroit also was closed.

Snow generally cleared out of the Chicago area on Sunday night, though there was snow falling on Monday morning in some other parts of Illinois. The storms left Chicago-area freeways with patches of snow and ice, making travel more difficult. The area received more than 6 inches of snow as of Sunday night.

Temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below average will follow the cold rain and snow in the coming days through much of the Midwest and East.