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New England is digging out from its first big snowfall of the season

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BOSTON — New England is digging out from its first big snowfall of the season that dumped more than a foot in some places and left tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power, as forecasters eye another potential winter storm early next week.

By early Saturday, the lights started to come back on for some customers. Utility Eversource reported about 20,000 outages in Connecticut, National Grid reported about 21,000 customers without electricity in Rhode Island and the two major utilities in Massachusetts reported about 80,000 combined.

Many school districts across the region closed for the day on Friday.

There were numerous accidents and spinouts on New England highways due to the heavy snow. In New York City, a crane being taken down because of windy conditions collapsed during a snow squall, killing one person.

The storm also brought down tree limbs and power lines.

A 6-year-old girl was hit by a tree limb that fell in her backyard in Canton, Massachusetts, and later died, according to family members. Police in the town urged residents, and especially children, to stay indoors because of the danger from falling trees and tree limbs.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said it closed a portion of a trolley line between Boston and suburban Newton when a tree fell across the tracks and bussed passengers Friday afternoon.

The storm left more than a foot of snow in some spots, but compared to the more than nine feet that fell last winter, New Englanders said they could deal with it.

PHOTO: Tim Breda walks home in the snow with his dog Jackson in Stratford, Conn. Feb. 5, 2016.   A winter storm packing heavy, wet snow gave New England its first real taste of winter Friday, toppling trees and knocking out power to more than 180,000 customers and threatening to cover some spots a foot deep.  (Ned Gerard/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Tim Breda walks home in the snow with his dog Jackson in Stratford, Conn. Feb. 5, 2016. A winter storm packing heavy, wet snow gave New England its first real taste of winter Friday, toppling trees and knocking out power to more than 180,000 customers and threatening to cover some spots a foot deep. (Ned Gerard/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

"It's been mild this winter. We deserve it. We've had several brutal years of snowstorms," said Raul Rodriguez, who works in the Connecticut attorney general's office.

The snowstorm came two weeks after massive blizzard blanketed the East Coast but largely spared Boston and points north.

But not everyone was chipper about winter's belated blast.

"I hate snow," said Bruce Schulman, a Boston University history professor who was waiting at Boston's South Station to take a train to New York.

"Obviously, we've had a pretty mild winter so far, but we needed it after last year," Schulman said. "If I never see snow again, I won't miss it."

The National Weather Service said Worcester, Massachusetts saw 12.5 inches of snow, Boston got nearly 7, Providence, Rhode Island 5 and Hartford, Connecticut, more than 6.

Some parts of Maine saw more than 10 inches of snow.

Farther south, forecasters said New York's Long Island got more than 11 inches. Parts of New Jersey saw about 4 inches before the snow tapered off, while rain that turned to snow snarled the morning commute in eastern Pennsylvania and caused some schools to delay opening.

Warmer daytime temperatures this weekend across New England likely will help melt some of the snow, before another potential blast of winter weather early next week.


Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie and Bob Salsberg in Boston; Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut; Holly Ramer in Atkinson, New Hampshire; David Sharp in Portland, Maine; and Jennifer McDermott in Providence, Rhode Island, contributed to this report.

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PHOTO: Christine Maldonado clears snow along Linwood Street in New Britain, Conn.,Friday, Feb 5,2016. A winter storm packing heavy, wet snow gave New England its first real taste of winter Friday, knocking out power to more than 150,000 customers and threatening to cover some spots a foot deep. (Mike Orazzi/The Bristol Press via AP)
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