Ski resorts enjoying 'Miracle March'

Others, not so much

By Alanna Durkin Richer

The Associated Press

WEST DOVER — Mount Snow has given this month a new nickname.

"This is 'Miracle March,'" Jamie Storrs, communications manager at the resort, told the Reformer on Tuesday.

With 4 inches of snow overnight, the resort had about 5 feet of snow for the month. Storrs expects to have about 7 feet by the end of the storm, as predictions called for steady snowfall throughout the day.

"Then there's another storm slated to hit midweek next week," he said. "It's been an amazing March at the mountain, and we're only halfway through it."

He has seen many families come up and stay after losing power in their hometowns during recent storms. Last week's approximately 27-inch snowfall, Storrs said, is "the deepest single-day total" in years.

"You have to go back a decade to get anything that rivals that," he said. "And it just seems like all these storms line up perfectly to hit Mount Snow. Southern Vermont tends to get hammered more than anywhere else."

Good things just keep happening at Stratton Mountain Resort — between a new set of season passes that includes one pass with access to 26 mountains and the announcement of $10 million in capital investments.

"That is a new way to define March Madness," said Myra Foster, senior manager of marketing and communications at Stratton.


On Tuesday morning, Vermont Emergency Management reminded drivers to be careful on the roads.

"We know it's pretty obvious, but it still behooves us to mention it — roads are getting slick where its snowing, slow down," a Facebook post reads. "Yeah, those facts are self-evident, but we kind of have to throw it out there for the few people who may not be thinking of the roads while planning their trip today. Yes, you should leave early to allow for extra time to get where you're going."

Most crashes are avoidable and involve human error, according to a tip sheet from the Vermont State Police.

"Check weather for pre-trip planning," police advise. "If you can, ask yourself if the trip is really necessary.

Snow and ice should be removed from vehicles. And headlights should be turned on.

"The single most important rule is to decrease speed and increase following distance," police advise. "The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only."

While Route 9 was not closed at 11:43 a.m., the time of the press release, the Wilmington Police Department asked motorists to avoid traveling Route 9 between Brattleboro and Bennington until the state highway crew could get the roadway cleared enough for all vehicles to pass through.


The nor'easter that was expected to deliver up to 2 feet of snow to some areas socked New England on Tuesday, bringing blizzard conditions to parts of coastal Massachusetts, covering highways with snow and knocking out power to tens of thousands.

A blizzard was confirmed in Boston, as well as parts of Massachusetts' South Shore and Cape Cod. Blizzard warnings were issued for the entire coast of Maine, New Hampshire and most of Massachusetts.

The rest of New England was under a winter storm warning, and a winter weather advisory blanketed most of New York and portions of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Although the latest storm was not expected to bring as many power outages as a nor'easter last week because the snow is lighter and fluffier, more than 150,000 customers in Massachusetts lost power by late Tuesday morning.

The Boston-area public transit system operated on a limited weekday basis. Usually-packed subway trains were nearly empty as many workers stayed home and schools closed.

Joe Rotella ducked into a train station as he tried to find his way to a hotel that's hosting a convention where he's speaking. Organizers were scrambling to find ways to video conference in speakers whose planes were delayed or canceled, said Rotella, chief medical officer with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

"As a visitor to Boston, I've been looking forward to this for months and this is kind of an adventure for me," the Louisville, Kentucky, man said. "I didn't have to go through the last two nor'easters so this still feels like fun."

The storm was expected to last through most of Tuesday, disrupting road and air travel.

The flight-tracking site FlightAware reported more than 1,300 canceled flights within, into or out of the U.S. on Tuesday. Amtrak suspended all service Tuesday from Boston to New York's Penn Station.

At the Yotel hotel in Boston's Seaport neighborhood, guests were busy rescheduling their flights over breakfast or, in the case of 80-year-old Roy Zaloom of Ramsey, New Jersey, preparing for a morning drive back home with his family.

"Let's' hope this is the end of it, the end of the snow. We've had too much of it at one time," said Zaloom, recalling that he got a foot in New Jersey last week.

The weather service defines a blizzard as three or more hours of sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater; and falling or blowing snow that reduces visibility frequently to less than one-quarter of a mile.

Boston and eastern Massachusetts, as well as Rhode Island, could get a foot and a half of snow, with less to the west of the city.

In Rhode Island, the storm closed schools and businesses across the state, knocked out power and made driving treacherous. Gov. Gina Raimondo urged residents to stay off the roads and let the plows and work crews do their jobs.

"I know we're all ready for winter to be over. This is the third storm in a row. I know folks are weary with power outages but hang in there with us," the governor said.

In New Hampshire, as much as 14 inches of snow is forecast, and the storm is wreaking havoc with the age-old town meeting tradition.

More than a foot of snow was expected in parts of Connecticut.

Maine braced for a hard hit. The Portland International Jetport has had 75.5 inches of snow, far above the normal for the date of 51.8 inches. Another 12 to 18 inches is expected, said James Brown, of the National Weather Service.

"We're not out of winter yet, that's for sure," Paul Knight, of Portland, said as snow accumulated on his eyebrows during a stroll. "The groundhog was right. Six more weeks of winter, and probably then some."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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