An intense "northeaster" winter storm churned up the New England coast today, spreading up to a foot of snow in some mountain areas, closing schools and creating treacherous driving conditions that triggered a 30-car pileup in New Hampshire.
The storm blew in from the Midwest, where it caused three highway deaths and smothered parts of Iowa with up to a foot of snow on Thursday.
State police said sleet and freezing rain left New Hampshire highways slippery for morning commuters, causing numerous accidents and a massive chain reaction pileup on Interstate 93.
"We've got a bunch of cars off of the roads," state trooper William Quigley said of the scores of accidents on Interstate 93 between Concord and Manchester, N.H.
The multi-car accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 93 involved an estimated 30 cars, Quigley said. He said there were some injuries reported but did not know if any motorists were seriously hurt.
Roads were also bad in Vermont. "It's real slick out there," a spokesman for the Vermont State Police said in Brattleboro. "Cars are off the road all over the place. The cruisers are out in full force just trying to keep up with everything. We just hope it changes over (to rain) by afternoon."
Freezing rain canceled school in four western Massachusetts counties.
Northern New England was bracing for more than six inches of snow, and Vermonters were expecting as much as a foot of snow in the Green Mountains.
"Northeaster" is the name given a storm in the Northeast that intensifies as it picks up moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.
More than half a foot of snow blanketed parts of Michigan overnight, and more than half a dozen school districts were closed today, mostly in western Michigan.
Blowing and drifting snow forced school closings in Mason and Kent counties in western Michigan and Midland County in eastern Michigan. The latest storm left snow piled two to four feet deep in some places.