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Winter Storm Socks New England Region

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A winter storm socked New England with heavy snow and high winds on Friday, with some areas receiving more than 24 inches (60 cm) of snowfall, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

Winter storm warnings and advisories were in effect for areas stretching from northern New York through most of Maine, where the storm left tens of thousands without power.

"This is the first strong nor'easter New England has seen this season. What is impressive about it is how rapidly it is strengthening tonight from Cape Cod into Maine," said Todd Foisy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine.

Much of Maine received double-digit snowfall, the National Weather Service said, with Oxford County, in southern Maine, reporting 27 inches in some locations.

In New Hampshire, snowfall was less, but the National Weather Service reported areas receiving more than a foot of snow in Carroll County, on the border with Maine.

 
Tom Sargent pushes his snowblower up his driveway in Bangor, Maine, U.S. December 30, 2016. REUTERS/Ashley Conti
 

A winter storm warning for parts of West Virginia and western Maryland was in effect until Friday afternoon.

Central Maine Power (AGR.N) said 91,000 customers were without power as of Friday morning, adding that hundreds, including crews from other states and Canada, were working to restore power but that the efforts could take several days in some areas.

Nearly 15,000 customers of Emera Maine (EMA.TO) were without power, according to an outage list on the power company's website.

Despite the shoveling out required, some outdoor enthusiasts were excited about the snow.

"WOW! What a way to start the season!," the Maine Snowmobile Association, which described the storm as a "whopper," said on Facebook.

Despite the excitement, the association cautioned against rushing to trails that had been inundated with snow and not yet groomed for riding.

"Like all of life's great pleasures, perfect snowmobile trails take a little bit of time," the association said.

Prior to the storm's arrival on Friday night, authorities told residents to prepare for the storm, though some in Maine, where winter storms are not uncommon, struck a tongue-in-cheek tone.

"Blowing snow will cause whiteout conditions. While lashing a rope to yourself might be an option, it is better to stay inside if at all possible," the Bangor, Maine Police Department said on Facebook.

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