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We're slipping, sliding, cold and flooded

Staff Report
January 06. 2014 9:44PM

New Hampshire's recent mix of freezing rain, black ice, rain and snow means even police cruisers aren't safe from crashes.

During Monday morning's commute, a New Hampshire State Police trooper parked his vehicle in the breakdown lane to investigate a rollover crash on Interstate 93 south in Bow, leaving the emergency lights on. A southbound vehicle lost control and struck the cruiser, significantly damaging both vehicles. Police said no one was hurt. Susan Ryan of Bow was charged with negligent driving.

On Saturday about noon, state police Sgt. Michael McQuade was inside his Dodge Charger investigating a crash on a snow-covered Interstate 93 north at exit 20 in Tilton when his cruiser was struck from behind.

Police said the vehicle, which had its side and rear emergency lights flashing, was pushed about 20 feet by an SUV taking the off-ramp. McQuade was taken to Franklin Regional Hospital, treated and later released. Driver Kim Gullage, 47, of Derry received a ticket for negligent operation.

Road conditions were also tough on Interstate 89 Monday morning, when a tractor trailer loaded with 17,000 pounds of doors skidded off the highway in Grantham to avoid hitting several vehicles.

The right lane was shut down while a tow truck worked to remove a car from a snow bank just after 8 a.m.

State police said Corey Ober, 21, of Ohio was driving a 2013 Kenworth tractor trailer.

He steered left, lost traction and ended up in a snowbank.

No one was hurt. Interstate 89 was shut down for about an hour while the tractor trailer was towed.

Arctic cold is in the forecast for today, with highs ranging from near 20 in the south to the low teens in the north.

Windy conditions will make it feel much more frigid.

On Monday, highs in the 50s brought a different kind of weather woe — burst pipes. Manchester District Fire Chief Al Poulin said when temperatures rise, once-frozen pipes expand.

Ruptured pipes at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the T.J. Maxx Plaza and private homes kept Manchester firefighters busy.

Poulin said a sprinkler pipe vent in a wall of the Fisher Cats stadium burst behind home plate, causing about $30,000 in damage to carpet, dry wall and ceilings in surrounding rooms.

A water flow alarm alerted the fire department to the problem, but Poulin said it did not indicate where the pipe was located.

The closest fire personnel were already at a small fire on Morrison Street, near Pearl Street, which meant firefighters assigned to stations farther away took the call at the stadium.

Poulin said at TJ Maxx Plaza, 30 March Ave., a pipe for a sprinkler system burst inside a vacant store, filling it with about two inches of water, which seeped into the stores on either side of it, Boston Market and Dots Clothing.

Poulin cautioned people not to use open flames — cigarette lighters or torches — to unfreeze the pipes. Instead, he said, use a warm towel, hair dryer or, better yet, call a plumber.

Poulin also asked residents to help dig out the city's 4,500 fire hydrants; only two Manchester Water Works employees are assigned to this task.

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