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Snowstorms break records in New England

Winter Weather
Mike Vicenti clears snow from a roof in Meredith, N.H., on Wednesday.Jim Cole / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Another snowstorm swept across New England on Wednesday, toppling seasonal snowfall records and dumping so much heavy snow on buildings that some collapsed under the weight.

An unoccupied summer pizza shop collapsed at Weirs Beach in Laconia, after the roof sagged about halfway into the two-story building and bowed the walls out, officials said.

On Tuesday, several people had to flee as the roof fell in at the Over Easy Cafe in Ossipee, N.H.

The dangerous snow load has kept roofing contractors and homeowners been busy.

"People can't keep up with the snow. They think it's going to stop, but it's just not stopping," said Shawn Greenwood, owner of Greenwood Construction, in St. Johnsbury, Vt.

"I've been roofing for 20 years and this is the worst I've ever seen," he said. "I was shoveling a roof off one day two weeks ago and the house next door caved in."

In Vermont, Burlington's 7.6 inches pushed the official snowfall past the February record of 34.3 inches and the winter record from December, January and February of 96.9 inches.

Around a foot of snow had fallen in parts of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Concord already had set a record for the snowiest December, January and February, and the storm pushed the total for the three months to 97.5 inches. For the entire snow season, Concord has seen 99.6 inches, off the record of 122 inches, set in the winter of 1873-74, but still enough to make it the 10th snowiest winter on record.

Schools throughout region closed
In northern Maine, Caribou had seen 144.5 inches this season as of Wednesday morning, putting it on pace to break the record of 181.1 for the entire season, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Turner.

Parts of eastern New York state also had gotten as much as a foot of snow, closing dozens of schools in the region, mostly in the Albany area.

Farther west, lake effect snow fed by moisture from Lake Michigan piled up nearly a foot deep Wednesday in northwest Indiana, and forecasters said totals could reach 20 inches by Thursday morning.

Indiana State Police diverted traffic from the eastbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road near Michigan City for about three hours Wednesday morning because large trucks could not get any traction on the snow-covered pavement.

Snow also blew across the Ohio Valley and farther south, closing schools in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, middle and eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.

The weather service said some areas in the mountains of western North Carolina could see up to 10 inches of snow.