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Associated Press
A man pushes out a car stuck in snow in Mansfield, Mass., on Friday, after the area received well over a foot of snow – far more than what had been forecast.

Winter storm tricks Northeast

– The late-winter storm that buried parts of the country was forecast to be little more than a nuisance for most of New England. Try telling that to Connecticut and Massachusetts residents who spent two days shoveling as much as 2 feet of snow.

“The forecast was 4 to 6 inches, and I think I’m looking at about 12 to 14 inches,” West Roxbury resident Mark Spillane said as snow continued to fall Friday. “I did not expect to have to bring out the snow blower.”

The storm was centered far out in the Atlantic Ocean, and by the time it reached New England, forecasters were focused on the potential for coastal flooding and not snow, which in many places had been predicted to reach a maximum of only 6 to 8 inches.

The coastline was battered by three high tides during the duration of the storm, the worst Friday morning, when some roads in coastal towns were flooded with up to 3 feet of water.

With spring less than two weeks away, Lisa Parisella, of Beverly, Mass., had been ready to dig out her sandals. Instead, she found herself donning her winter boots for a trip to the grocery store to make sure she had enough food for her kids, whose classes were canceled Friday.

“This was unexpected,” said Parisella, 47, an office manager. Forecasts had called for between 1 and 8 inches. Instead, her town had well over a foot by noon, and snow continued to fall.

“I was ready to start decorating for spring. I was thinking, March, ready to take out the sandals, and I’m taking out the boots again.”

Tim Wicker, a self-employed 32-year-old resident of Norwich, Conn., said the latest storm wasn’t too bad, but he was also longing for spring.

“The other day I was out in a T-shirt,” Wicker said. “Now we’re dealing with this again. It’s going to be 54 on Sunday. It’s just New England.”

The storm had been giving forecasters fits for days. After pummeling the Midwest earlier in the week, it dumped nearly two feet of snow in some part of the mid-Atlantic but largely spared the nation’s capital, despite warnings that as much as 10 inches could fall on Washington.

Some school districts, including Boston, were criticized for holding classes Friday despite icy sidewalks and poorly plowed roads.

Boston public schools spokesman Lee McGuire said schools were kept open because Thursday night’s forecast had called for just a few inches of snow.

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