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January 16. 2013 8:34AM

Minor crashes pile up as snow blankets New Hampshire

Rollovers, spin-outs and fender-benders are the norm this morning as a snowstorm moved in just as residents were heading off to work.

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 Route 93, especially through the Hooksett-Manchester area of exits 7 to 9, traffic was moving at about 35 mph as of 8 a.m.

Stott said while it is 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.
 
In Epping, police responded to several minor accidents and vehicles off the road. Police Capt. Jason Newman said three incidents involved school buses that were either stuck in the road or had gone off the roadway. No one was injured.
 
Just before noon, a van traveling eastbound on Route 101 in Brentwood overturned near Exit 8. A woman and a child under a year old escaped injury, state police said.
 
There was a similar scene in Exeter, where a school bus was unable to climb a slick hill on Cross Road. A car traveling in front of the bus was also unable to make it up the hill and slid into the front of the bus. There were no students on the bus and no one was injured, police said.
 
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 Route 93 to New Hampton, Epsom, Wilton, Bedford and Auburn.

State DOT workers were out between 3 and 4 a.m. pre-treating some of the state roads in an effort to prevent snow from sticking to the surfaces, according to Stott.

The problem with today's storm, he said, is that it is a fine snow that, in some instances, limits visibility and is falling during the morning commute in the middle of the week when traffic is heavier.

From Belmont to Concord to Epsom to Windham to Auburn to Rochester and beyond, emergency personnel were being dispatched for cars off the road and rollovers. In Belmont, no police supervisor was available to answer a call because all were sent out for reported accidents. A dispatcher suggested a reporter call back Wednesday afternoon.

More than 150 schools have closed for the day in New Hampshire, according to WMUR's website. The Manchester School District has canceled classes for the day.


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