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Winter system drops record snow, chills the South
Winter Weather Heal
Robert Ruhl, 8, of Winooski, VT, shovels out his friends' home in Winooski, Vt., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010 after the first blizzard of the year struck on Saturday night setting record snow fall totals for the state. - photo by Associated Press
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Snow falling like New Year's confetti joined forces with a chill that dipped deep to the South on Monday to close schools, delay commuters, threaten fruit farmers and shut down at least one nuclear power plant.

A weekend snowstorm dumped an all-time record of more than 33 inches on Burlington, the largest city in Vermont. That broke a single-storm record of nearly 30 inches set in 1969.

"It just dropped a tremendous amount of snow," said Steve Goodkind, public works director for the city of Burlington, which had a dozen plows and nine sidewalk snow removers out Monday. "It looks like mid-January, after we'd have a bunch of smaller storms."

Most Vermonters took it in stride. Others took it too far: Vermont State Police cited a man after stopping him pulling a sled — with a rider in it — behind his car on Interstate 89 on Sunday. The driver was cited for driving with a suspended license.

In upstate New York, it was a similar scene. So-called "lake effect snow" blanketed parts of the state with more than 3 feet. Fulton, in Oswego County, had received 42 inches since last Friday night, while Williamson, which is on Lake Ontario east of Rochester, got nearly 27 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather slowed commuters in western Pennsylvania and caused hundreds of school delays. Ohio students got their holiday break extended Monday because of lake-effect storms that dumped a foot of snow over the weekend and are threatening another foot.

Searchers in Maine were seeking an 18-year-old snowmobiler who disappeared shortly after the storm started Friday night.

Unseasonably cold weather extended well to the south, where farmers in South Florida braced for a possible freeze Monday night.

In Lower Alloways Creek, N.J., one nuclear power plant was shut down and another put on reduced power because of ice in the Delaware River. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Salem Unit 2 was shut down around 8 a.m. Sunday because it was taking ice into its cooling mechanism. Salem Unit 1 was also reduced to 80 percent power for the same reason.

It wasn't clear early Monday when the two plants would return to full power.

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