An early season snowstorm plunged tens of thousands of homes and businesses into the dark Tuesday — and not all will get their power back until perhaps Thursday.
Heavy, wet snow and snapped tree branches proved a potent recipe for power outages — mainly north of Manchester.
“It’s been an awful busy November that’s for sure,” said Mike Eldridge, foreman for the state highway maintenance shed in Moultonborough.
The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative — which still had 1 in 8 customers without power by late afternoon — said it likely would have several thousand customers without power until today “and perhaps into Thursday.”
Eversource warned that some customers won’t get their power restored until at least today. The utility said it already restored power to more than 42,000 customers during a 14-hour stretch dating back to Monday night.
“We want our customers to be aware this is an extended power outage for some and our crews will continue working around the clock until all are restored,” said Eversource spokesman Kaitlyn Woods.
Both power companies didn’t have restoration times for specific towns and cities.
The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative said that the storm caused dozens of outages affecting 50 or fewer members — and sometimes a single customer.
“Crews are focused now on the largest outages, but many individual outages will take considerable time to restore fully,” the Co-op said.
By 6 p.m. more than 19,000 power customers statewide remained without power, according to utility outage maps.
The outages occurred “primarily, because the snow is heavy and wet and it broke a lot of branches and there’s a little wind to boot, so that’s not helping things,” said James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
Early snow totals put Wilmot in Merrimack County at the top of the snow pile, with 15 inches reported, according to the weather service.
Madison in Carroll County received 14 inches while Nashua got less than 1 inch. Sunapee received 10 inches and Deerfield 2 inches, according to measurements taken Tuesday morning.
Eversource’s outages were spread among more than 100 communities.
Nearly every home and business in New London was without power Tuesday morning, but restoration efforts cut those outages to only about 14 percent of the town early Tuesday afternoon before it bounced back up to 20 percent a few hours later.
“It’s everything you kind of expect from a storm like this,” said New London Police Lt. Emily Cobb.
North of Concord, many schools either delayed opening or were closed for the day. Numerous accidents were reported on state roads by the Department of Transportation, including on interstates 93 and 95.
Power repair crews sometimes endured tough conditions, including a lineman with the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative who worked to restore power while BB-sized hail pelted him off Route 109 in Moultonborough.
“You have to love New England,” the lineman said.
Union Leader Correspondents Bea Lewis and Damien Fisher contributed to this report.