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December 26. 2013 3:02PM

Dozens of accidents reported as snow falls across state

A jackknifed tractor trailer shut down a section of Interstate 89 south in Hopkinton on Thursday afternoon, one of dozens of accidents reported around the state on a day when many motorists focused on post-Christmas shopping.

State police reported the tractor-trailer accident happened just before 1:30 p.m. between exits 3 and 4 in Hopkinton, closing the southbound lanes for more than an hour, police said.

State police alone received reports of more than 30 vehicles involved in accidents or sliding off the road in a two- to three-hour period, according to Lt. Nicole Armaganian.

"It just seemed the weather came in all at once, the snow and ice, and I don't think people were prepared," Armaganian said.

"People are going too fast for road conditions," she said, noting snow had made stretches of highway slippery.

In Concord, a five-vehicle crash tied up traffic on Interstate 93 southbound between Exits 15 and 17 before noon, Armaganian said.

A few hours later, two vehicles were involved in a crash near Exit 8 on the Spaulding Turnpike in Dover, resulting in minor injuries, she said.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said traveling was difficult in parts of the state.

"Our Transportation Management Center says state police are reporting numerous spinouts and vehicles off the roads at various locations across the state," he said in an e-mail. "Trouble spots have included I-89, I-93 just north of Concord, and NH 25 in Moultonborough. Roads are snow covered with wet and black conditions on the tire paths. NHDOT crews are out plowing and treating state-maintained roads across the state."

James Brown, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said a small coastal storm generally dropped around an inch of snow in New Hampshire by mid-afternoon.

"I imagine the warm tires are melting that snow and it's refreezing" on roadways, Brown said.

After a snow-free Friday and Saturday, parts of New Hampshire face more possible snow Sunday.

Accuweather.com is calling for four to eight inches of snow on Sunday night for Manchester and Portsmouth with lesser amounts for Concord.

Brown said it was still too early to say with certainty whether the storm will strike the region, let alone issue snowfall predictions.

But, he said, "The (computer) models are indicating it's a pretty big storm."

mcousineau@unionleader.com
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