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February 08. 2013 9:19PM

Hassan relies on 'common sense' NH to get through

CONCORD - Gov. Maggie Hassan declared a state of emergency as Friday night's blizzard intensified and was expected to continue through this afternoon.

"We have been closely monitoring the storm as it has strengthened, and the expected snow totals have now reached levels where a state of emergency is needed to allow for the mobilization of additional resources and to access any federal assistance that may become available," Hassan said in a statement.

Hassan had held off declaring a state of emergency when she held a press conference about the state's response to the storm at 1:30 p.m. Friday, when the state was experiencing light snowfalls.

But by 5 p.m. Friday, with snow falling harder, Hassan issued the declaration, which effectively allows state emergency response workers to employ any resource necessary to deal with the storm and any damage.

Hassan asked that residents stay off roads after 7 p.m. Friday, but stopped short of the order given by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who banned all traffic statewide as of 4 p.m. Friday, with exceptions for emergency workers, utility companies, delivery trucks and news media. Anyone violating the order would face penalties of up to $500 in fines and a year in prison.

Hassan said at her press conference that she is counting on "the common sense people in the Granite State show" and that an order to stay off the roads would not be necessary.

As of 7:30 p.m. Friday, no power outages had been reported in New Hampshire among the four major electricity providers.

The U.S. Postal Service on Saturday will close post offices in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hamsphire, and is suspending mail delivery.



tbuckland@unionleader.com


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