...unless of course you were driving
A Department of Transportation snow plow clears an on-ramp to Route 293 southbound in Manchester during Wednesday's snowfall. DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER
Eric Stott, spokesman with the state Traffic Management Center in Concord, said speeds were reduced to 45 mph on the state's major highways because of snow-covered roads and reported crashes. On some sections of Interstate 93, especially through the Hooksett-Manchester area of exits 7 to 9, traffic was moving about 35 mph Wednesday morning during the brunt of the snowfall.
The snow tapered off Wednesday evening, with forecasts calling for sunny skies today and Friday, but with a chance for snow to return this weekend.
Stott said while Wednesday's was not the first snowstorm of the season, it has been a mild winter so far and motorists appear to need to learn again how to drive in snow. Drivers, he said, should slow down and allow extra time to reach their destination.
The State Police reported 67 crashes and 65 cars off the road statewide.
The Traffic Cam Alert system, which monitors the state's major roadways, sent out alerts for nine accidents between 6:34 and 7:37 a.m. They ranged from Salem on Interstate 93 to New Hampton, Epsom, Wilton, Bedford and Auburn.
State DOT workers were out between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. pre-treating some of the state roads to prevent snow from sticking to the surfaces, Stott said.
Wednesday's storm, he said, featured fine snow that, in some instances, limited visibility and fell during the morning commute in the middle of the week when traffic is heavier.
In Rochester, three people were sent to the hospital after slick, snowy conditions caused an accident along Route 202 Wednesday morning.
Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 6:59 a.m. after a northbound 2003 Saturn Vue, driven by Nanette Vaughan, of Rochester, and a southbound 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by Wilfred Dow, 43, of Rochester, along Washington Street - Route 202 - between Dry Hill Road and Estes Road.
Vaughan and two passengers - police did not release their names because they are minors - were taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester for treatment along with another juvenile. All three suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Dow and his passenger, Shawn Cota, 33, of Rochester, refused transport, according to police.
Police said Vaughan lost control of her car while driving down a hill near Dry Hill Road. She crossed the center line and her car was hit on the driver's side door by the Jeep, according to police.
From Belmont to Concord to Epsom to Windham to Auburn to Rochester and beyond, emergency personnel were dispatched for cars off the road and rollovers.
More than 150 schools closed for the day in New Hampshire, according to WMUR's website.
In Manchester, city officials enacted a snow emergency Wednesday, asking people to get their cars off the street or be prepared to cough up $110 when it is towed. A snow emergency is in effect in the city so public works' crews can finish cleaning snow off city streets.
Any vehicle parked in violation of the snow emergency will be towed to a lot at Derryfield Park, off Bridge Street. To get a towed vehicle back, the owner will be required to present proof of ownership and pay $110 within 24 hours of the vehicle being towed, or possibly face additional towing and storage fees, according to city officials.
The city has two locations available for residents to park their cars during snow emergencies: the Victory Parking Garage at Chestnut and Amherst Street, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and the Pearl Street parking lot, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. Both lots have limited amount of spaces available.
A snow emergency is called to allow city crews to plow the full width of the streets, allow access for emergency vehicles as well as parking once the snow emergency is ended, a city press release said.