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School closings from Maine to W.Va. as more snow falls; some areas set records in December
Winter Storm MIDTN1 5163181
Alli Norman, 14, of Brighton, squeals as she hits a bump while sledding at Kensington Metropark west of Detroit Tuesday Jan 1, 2008 . The fourth biggest snowfall in southern Michigan history dumped up to 16 inches overnight, making travel treacherous and leaving an estimated 30,000 without power. - photo by Associated Press
    CONCORD, N.H. — Snow fell across parts of New England for the third day in a row Wednesday, adding to last month’s record accumulations and closing schools.
    Flurries also extended into the Ohio Valley, and some children had an extra holiday as classes were canceled in parts of West Virginia and Ohio.
    Temperatures fell to freezing levels as far south as the Florida Panhandle, and wind chill readings were below zero in parts of northern Kentucky.
    Following the snowiest December on record, many areas of New Hampshire got about a foot of snow on New Year’s Day, with a couple of inches added during the night and a couple more likely Wednesday. Storm totals could reach 18 inches in parts of Maine and New Hampshire and up to a foot in Vermont.
    The latest snowfall in New England followed a storm on Monday that made for the area’s snowiest December in decades. December’s snowfall at Concord, N.H., totaled 44.5 inches, toppling a record of 43 inches that had stood since 1876. Burlington, Vt., got 45.7 inches, far above its 17.2-inch December average, and Portland, Maine, amassed 37.7 inches for its third-snowiest December on record.
    ‘‘It’s been unbelievable. It just keeps coming,’’ said Bill Swain, spokesman for Maine’s Sugarloaf USA ski area, which got 70 inches of snow in December.
    On the southern fringes of the storm on Wednesday, show was scattered from Ohio through eastern Kentucky and West Virginia into parts of Virginia and Maryland.
    The heaviest snowfall was in West Virginia’s rugged Randolph County, with 13 inches at Kumbrabow State Forest, the weather service said. Up to 6 inches of snow was possible at higher elevations of eastern Kentucky, although 1- to 2-inch accumulations were likely in most areas, the weather service said.
    At least 40 of West Virginia’s 55 counties closed all public schools Wednesday because of snow-covered roads and freezing temperatures.
    Dozens of schools also were closed Wednesday in southeastern Michigan, where a six-hour burst of snow early Tuesday dumped as much as 16 inches in a three-county area north of Detroit, the weather service said.
    The storm blacked out 10,000 customers Tuesday in northeast Ohio, where 15 inches of snow fell at in Pierpont, east of Cleveland. About 4,000 more lost power Tuesday evening in southwest Ohio when circuit breakers failed because of the cold. Service had been restored to nearly everyone Wednesday morning, utility officials said.
    One person was killed in a weather-related traffic accident in Ohio, the Highway Patrol said.
    All of Florida was under a freeze warning with temperatures expected to drop into the 20s and teens in parts of the state by Thursday morning. Northern Florida had already chilled to 30 degrees early Wednesday.
    Much of Florida’s prime citrus growing area was expected to get temperatures in the 20s, and Gov. Charlie Crist had signed an emergency order and relaxed restrictions in getting harvests moved to processing centers.
    ‘‘Everybody’s scurrying around to do what they can to protect their plants,’’ said Terry McElroy, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
    ———
    Associated Press writers Jeff Karoub and Jim Irwin in Detroit and David Sharp in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.

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