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Toll Rises to 16 as Storm Lashes East : Washington Digs Out as New England Reels Under Near Blizzard

November 12, 1987|Times Wire Services

A wintry storm blamed for 16 deaths blustered up the New England coast today, closing schools and snarling air and highway travel with up to a foot of snow in Massachusetts after dumping a record 15 inches near Washington, D.C.

The storm raked eastern Massachusetts today with near blizzard conditions.

Boston's Logan International Airport was closed overnight because of near-blizzard conditions but reopened at 10 a.m. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., was also closed during the storm, and Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland remained closed except for essential use.

Sunshine Flight Delayed

At Logan Airport, Sharon Gioia, 23, of North Andover sat on the floor of the Eastern Airlines terminal before flights resumed, waiting to leave for a weeklong vacation in Tampa, Fla.

"I'm going to kiss the ground when I get there," she said.

Scattered power outages were reported across the Northeast, one of them denying electricity to 20,000 customers in suburban Boston. Wind gusts to 35 m.p.h. accompanied the snow, creating drifts in some areas.

National Weather Service officials said it was the heaviest early snowstorm in the Boston area since it began keeping records in 1891. A spokesman said the only comparable storm, which dumped about four inches, occurred in 1897.

Many Schools Closed

Marlboro, a western Boston suburb, had almost a foot of snow. Gloucester, on the North Shore, had 5 1/2 inches. Up to a foot fell south of Boston.

Schools in northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were closed today.

Cold air moving behind the storm, meanwhile, dropped temperatures below freezing today in the Deep South. Eight cities and towns from Texas to Virginia broke or tied their low temperature records for the day.

The 25 degrees in Baltimore early today broke a 74-year-old mark by four degrees. Farther south, Augusta, Ga., had a 23-degree reading, tying a mark set in 1973, and Birmingham, Ala., 27.

Record Washington Snow

In Washington, D.C., crews today tried to clear a record 15 inches of snow that fell Wednesday, disrupting Veterans Day activities. (Story, Page 24.)

The federal government today invoked its liberal leave policy for more than 300,000 employees in the Washington area, meaning federal employees were able to take leave time without prior approval.

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