Winter storm socks US New England region
Dec 30 (Reuters) - A winter storm socked the U.S. New England region with heavy snow and high winds early on Friday, with some areas expected to see as much as 24 inches (61 cm) of snowfall, the U.S. National Weather Service said.
Winter storm warnings and advisories were in effect for areas stretching from northern New York through most of Maine, where snow was falling at a rate of about 3 inches per hour in parts of the state early on Friday.
"This is the first strong nor'easter New England has seen this season. What is impressive about it is how rapidly it is strengthening tonight from Cape Cod into Maine," said Todd Foisy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine.
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Much of the region was set for at least 6 inches (15 cm) of snow with the possibility of 24 inches (61 cm) in some parts, the National Weather Service said, warning of reduced visibility on roadways as gusts of 35 mph (56 kph) blow the snow around.
"Blowing snow will cause whiteout conditions. While lashing a rope to yourself might be an option, it is better to stay inside if at all possible," the Bangor, Maine Police Department said on Facebook.
Most winter storm warnings in the region were expected to expire by Friday evening.
More than 35,000 customers were without power throughout the region early on Friday as a result of the storms, data from utility companies showed.
Some 20 flights were canceled and another 68 were delayed in and out of Boston's Logan International Airport on Thursday as a result of the inclement weather, a common part of winter in New England.
A winter storm warning for parts of West Virginia and western Maryland was in effect until Friday afternoon. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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