At 9:45 a.m., emergency officials said a heavy band of snow was dropping more than 2 inches of snow per hour over much of New Hampshire, making road conditions treacherous. They urged Granite Staters to stay off the roads until conditions improved.
The light, fluffy snow was falling at a rate of more than an inch per hour in southern New Hampshire. Up to 18 inches or more of snow was expected to fall in parts of the state before the storm winds down Thursday afternoon.
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Plows were out on New Hampshire roads starting early in the morning. New Hampshire State Police said they responded to 25-30 crashes before 6 a.m.
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Transportation officials urged people to stay home. Anyone who needed to be out on the roads was urged to drive carefully.
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“Give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go,” said Eileen Meaney, of the Department of Transportation. “Even if it says 45 mph, but the safest speed is 20, that’s what you do. Slow down. Take your time. Give yourself plenty of distance between vehicles and just be safe.”
Gov. Chris Sununu said the Emergency Operations Center was open to monitor the storm. He said that with so many schools closed for the day, a lot of children would be out playing in the snow, something that drivers should watch out for.
He also urged Granite Staters to look out for their neighbors.
“If you have neighbors or loved ones, check in on them,” Sununu said. “Make sure they’re doing OK during the storm.”
He said more than 500 pieces of equipment were working on the state’s roads. Meaney said it takes a plow about 90 minutes to complete its route, and at the rate the snow was falling, a significant amount of snow could build up on the roads before the plow can take another pass at it.
The storm is expected to be most intense in southern and central New Hampshire through noon Thursday.