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Northeast blizzard eases; snowplows revved up for the big dig-out

February 09, 2013|By Alana Semuels, Tina Susman and Michael Muskal | This post has been updated. See the note below for details.

BOSTON--The blizzard of 2013 began to ease somewhat Saturday as the Northeast began to slowly dig out from a fierce, and in some places, record-breaking storm that dropped more than 2 feet of snow and as much as 3 feet in some places.

The worst of the storm hit overnight Friday after an intense day of precipitation, whiteout conditions and howling winds that approached hurricane force. At least three deaths were attributed to the storm and more than 660,000 customers remained without electricity in eight states.

Despite the huge volume of snow, which could take days to clear out in hard-hit areas from Long Island to Connecticut, officials said they were relieved that the situation was not worse.

PHOTOS: Northeast buried in snow

[Updated 1:22 p.m. Feb. 9: At 4 p.m. Eastern time, Massachusetts officials lifted a statewide driving ban as more roadways were cleared. Subways and buses, however, were not yet running.]

“I’m happy to report the city so far has weathered the storm well,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino said at a news conference. “No major power outages, no severe flooding.”

“We still have a little way to go to get through the rest of the storm,”  Menino said, urging Bostonians to check on the elderly and be careful while navigating the streets, clogged by more than 22 inches of snow.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg echoed that optimism.

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