Several days of spring-like weather gave way Thursday to driving rain, heavy wet snow and powerful wind gusts as a fast-moving storm knocked out power to thousands of people in parts of New England.
There were wind gusts of around 50 miles per hour in Mendon, Vermont, and Wiscasset and Rockland in Maine, where more than 20,000 homes and businesses were without electricity at the storm’s speak.
Atop New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, sustained winds topped 90 mph, with gusts topping 130 mph, said William Watson, meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
The wind blew so hard that utility crews found it perilous to deploy their buckets to repair downed power lines. Some chairlifts were shut down because of wind at Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski areas in Maine.
Manchester Community College in New Hampshire closed Thursday because a downed power line cut electricity to the campus.
While coastal regions were drenched with rain, inland areas received a mixture of rain and snow in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Heavy snow fell from Mount Washington northeast to Sugarloaf Mountain and east to Baxter State Park in Maine.
By Thursday afternoon, the sun was out in most locations but the wind was still blowing.