A storm spread a blanket of snow up to a foot thick across much of the Northeast on Friday, snarling commutes, closing schools and piling up the flakes so fast that shovel crews could barely keep up.
At least five fatal crashes were blamed on the storm, including a New Jersey couple who died when a sport utility vehicle crashed through their bedroom.
Along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire line, the snow fell at a rate of 2 inches per hour. It also fell quickly throughout Connecticut, lowering visibility on highways and secondary roads.
“You shovel it and it comes right back,” said Joe Parise, who was clearing the steps of the federal courthouse in New Haven. “You can’t stay ahead of it. You shovel, you come back in an hour, you shovel again, that’s all you can do.”
In Maine, the community of Kennebunk recorded more than 4 inches of snow in a single hour.
The storm, which dumped up to 10 inches of snow in the Midwest, left as much as 14 inches in parts of New Hampshire; a foot in portions of Massachusetts and around Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and 10 inches in northwest New Jersey.
In New Jersey, authorities were investigating a wreck involving an SUV that veered off a slick road, crashed into a house and killed a couple as they slept. Crashes in Ohio killed two drivers Thursday night and early Friday. Snow and ice were also blamed for a two auto accidents Friday that killed one person each in New Hampshire and Connecticut.
In Boston, a plane was forced to make an emergency landing after it was struck by lightning from the storm as it approached the runway. No injuries were reported among the 35 passengers and three crew members aboard Comair Flight 5437 from Baltimore, but a spokesman for Logan Airport said the plane sustained minor damage.
Logan and other airports closed later in the afternoon amid heavy snow and high winds, leaving travelers stranded. Flights were delayed or canceled throughout the region. Schools also closed from Maryland to Maine.