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State Police Advise Drivers to Stay Off Roads During Storm

Road conditions are expected to be dicey Saturday into Sunday, so police are advising residents to plan accordingly.

Meteorologists are predicting more significant snowfall will hit Londonderry and other parts of Southern New Hampshire on Saturday into Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a high probability of heavy, wet snow that could impact portions of Southern New Hampshire on Saturday into Sunday. Amounts may range from 6 to 10 inches across higher terrain. Downed trees and tree limbs will be possible and could result in scattered power outages. Untreated roadways will likely become snow covered resulting in slippery and hazardous travel.

In preparation for the upcoming snow expected this weekend, New Hampshire State Police are reminding residents that road travel is anticipated to be the greatest hazard from this storm.  

"We would like to remind everyone to limit road travel from Saturday evening into Sunday morning to allow our partners from the Department of Transportation to clear and treat the roads," State Police said in a press release.

For those who must drive, police remind motorists to slow down and allow extra space between their vehicle and others. Winter conditions call for different driving tactics including driving at slower speeds, accelerating slower, steering slower and braking slower.

"Please keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road," police said. "Driving in a snowstorm is not the time to be driving while distracted."

They also remind residents not to drive to closely to plow trucks and not to travel beside them for long periods of time as snow plow drivers' sight lines are obstructed.

"Before venturing out, please make sure you've cleared the snow off all of your vehicle's windows and lights, to include your brake lights and turn signals. And always buckle up," police said. "The best place to be during a snow storm is home. If you must be on the roadways, give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely."

The New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security of Emergency Management and Red Cross are also warning residents to be sure to clear their roofs due to potentially dangerous accumulations from the storm.

“Snow accumulations are especially dangerous on flat roofed buildings, which are most susceptible to collapse” said Perry E. Plummer, Acting Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “We urge building owners or managers to monitor their buildings, ensure that roof drains are clear and to remove snow as soon as that can be safely accomplished.”

He said homeowners should also remove snow from buildings using snow rakes from the ground. If roofs need to be shoveled, that should be done by contractors with the proper experience and insurance.

“During storms like this we ask people bring their pets inside and to be good neighbors,” said Maria White, CEO of Red Cross NH. “Help people who require special assistance such as elderly living alone, people with disabilities and people with children.”

HSEM and Red Cross NH make the following recommendations for the storm:

  • Clear snow from building exits, gas connections and vents.
  • Stay off the roads as much as possible. If travel is necessary keep your gas tank at least half full and keep a disaster supply kit readily available in your vehicle.
  • If power outages occur:
    • Report the outage to your electric company.
    • Stay clear of downed power lines and treat all power lines as if they are live.
    • Operate portable generators at least 10 feet from buildings with the exhaust pointed away from buildings.
    • Do not use outdoor heating appliances inside buildings because of the danger of carbon monoxide.
    • Let water run at a trickle to keep pipes from freezing.
    • Use flashlights and battery-powered lanterns for emergency lighting, not candles.
  • Before tackling any strenuous tasks in cold temperatures consider your physical condition and weather conditions.

The winter storm watch posted by the National Weather Service remains in effect until 7 p.m. Sunday.

Plummer and White urged New Hampshire residents and visitors to monitor changing weather conditions via broadcast or Internet sources or NOAA Weather Radio.

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