Latest winter blast tests Granite Staters
"There are plenty of four-wheel-drives out there," said Jessica Brown, owner of Ruthie's Flower Shop in Conway.
The nor'easter was expected to dump 8 to 12 inches of snow across much of New Hampshire, with a bit less in coastal areas, said Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
"People still seem to be coming out and they're coming in," owner Leigh Smith said Thursday. Bob Regan of Brentwood left work early because of the snow and figured it was a good time to pick up a Valentine's Day card at the Hallmark store and a bouquet of flowers from Dot's.
Smith said some flower deliveries planned for Valentine's Day were made Wednesday before the storm hit. And the recipients didn't mind.
While forecasters didn't expect the combination of wind and heavy wet snow to cause any significant power outages, utility companies were on guard just in case. Public Service of New Hampshire, the state's largest utility, said its line trucks were fueled, equipment and materials were ready, and workers were preparing to respond in the event of outages.
New Hampshire Electric Cooperative's operating districts in 10 locations around the state were also stocked with emergency supplies; additional contracted line and trees crews were placed on standby.
Meanwhile, the slick road conditions led to numerous accidents.
A tractor-trailer jack-knifed on Route 101 in Hampton while vehicle rollovers were reported on Interstate 93 in Concord, Canterbury and Gilmanton. In Newbury, a vehicle reportedly overturned and struck a utility pole, knocking down the pole and wires.
Hampstead police Lt. John Frazier said his department brought in an additional officer.
"We called an extra officer in on top of our normal shift rotation just in case, but most people have been off the road. So far so good," he said late Thursday afternoon.
Brian Sullivan, Franklin's director of municipal services, said the traffic was minimal in the area in the afternoon.
Sullivan said the temperature was making for a heavier, somewhat icier snowfall.
"This snow has that funny texture; it's deceptive. It can be very slippery, but it's not that really slippery snow," Sullivan said.