Sussex Tech Grad Keeping Eye on Nor'easter in New Hampshire

Feb 08, 2013 -- 6:53pm

Justin Kates is the director of the Emergency Operations Center for the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, a city of around 86,000 people between Manchester, the biggest city in New Hampshire, and Boston. He's a native of Lewes, and a graduate of Sussex Tech High School. This weekend, he's coordinating Nashua's response to a blizzard that could be one for the ages.

Kates tells WGMD that Nashua is expected to get around two feet of snow between now and Saturday night, when the snow is expected to finally stop falling. He says even though Nashua is some 20 to 30 miles away from the coast, the city will still experience sustained winds around 40 miles per hour, with gusts up to between 60 and 70 miles per hour. Those winds, along with powdery snow, will create snowdrifts as tall as five feet. Kates says wind gusts could reach hurricane force along the coasts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, forecasters are predicting that two to three feet of snow will fall in Boston. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has declared a State of Emergency, and issued a driving ban at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon.

Kates says the biggest issue Friday was a lot of accidents because businesses hadn't closed early due to the storm, and a lot of people were still out on the snowy roads. Later tonight and through Saturday, Kates says falling trees and branches will become the major problem caused by the storm, as they fall onto power lines and block roads. He predicts that around 15 percent of Nashua, or around 20,000 Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) customers, will lose power during the storm, with most of those in the rural areas just outside of Nashua. Kates says that's a far cry from the Nor'easter of October 2011, which brought heavy, wet snow and knocked out power to nearly 70 percent of the city.

Return to: WGMD Local News Blog

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