Sleet storms are one of the worst that road crews have to deal with, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said, as officials warn of treacherous road conditions Friday.
Much of New England is still buried in snow after Saturday’s blizzard, but another round of winter weather has arrived. Our weather team issued a First Alert Friday for a flash freeze, where temperatures quickly plummet and any water on the roadways turns to ice. On top of that, there’s icing from the precipitation falling.
In northern parts of New England, over a foot of snow is expected in some areas.
The storm disrupted flights at major hubs in the U.S. on Friday morning, including Boston Logan International Airport.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker late Thursday ordered non-emergency employees in state executive branch agencies not to report to workplaces Friday, and schools and other employers also took steps to try to keep people off the roads as the temperatures drop Friday.
Numerous accidents had already been reported on Friday morning, including on Route 128 in Burlington and on Interstate 495 by Route 24. A serious crash was reported on I-495 north in Chelmsford, with several lanes blocked, and multiple crashes were reported on Interstate 95 as well.
Two separate disabled trucks were causing delays in the O’Neill Tunnel in Boston, but so far the Massachusetts Turnpike looks mostly clear.
New Hampshire State Police said at 6:45 a.m. that they were already reporting multiple crashes around the state due to the weather. The Everett Turnpike northbound in Merrimack was closed around 7:30 a.m. due to a crash. Crashes were also reported on Interstate 93 in Salem and Londonderry.
Another crash was reported on I-93 north in Bow.
Maine State Police said they have responded to more than 10 crashes on the Maine Turnpike since 6 a.m. as people are driving too fast for the icy road conditions. No major injuries have been reported.
The driver of a tractor trailer headed south on the turnpike in York lost control and struck the center guardrail, coming to rest in the center of the road, blocking all lanes.
MassDOT didn’t pre-treat the roads before the ice because the rain would have washed it away, officials said. They’re asking people to avoid travel if possible.
“We can’t put out material in deicing chemicals to prevent that ice from forming. We are going to be in reactionary mode throughout this storm tomorrow,” Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said. “If you must travel, please use extreme caution and leave your self plenty of time to get to your destination. Plan ahead, know your route and leave early. And please take your time and be on the look out for icy conditions and keep it slow.”
In Nashua, New Hampshire, signs along the Daniel Webster Highway warned of a winter weather advisory.
The MBTA also warned riders to allow for extra travel time due to anticipated delays.
Even after the storm pushes off to sea late Friday and Saturday, ice and snow were expected to linger through the weekend because of subfreezing temperatures.
The Associated Press and State House News Service contributed to this report.