Raging Blizzard Grips New England

Snow, Winds Buffet Region

A major blizzard is burying the Northeast, with winds gusting up to 92 miles an hour and a snow accumulation of eight to 16 inches projected for the Boston area, the National Weather Service said last night.

The Governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania declared states of emergency in those states yesterday.

Snow is expected to taper off this evening, with gale force winds decreasing towards evening.

The snow paralyzed transportation throughout New England last night. Logan Airport was closed yesterday afternoon. The Massachusetts Turnpike speed limit was cut to 30 miles an hour last night, but "you're lucky if you can do five or ten," Alphonse Rheaume, State Police sergeant, said last night.

The snow stranded about 200 of the 13,000 spectators at the Beanpot Hockey Tournament in Boston Garden overnight as major traffic arteries were closed.

Concession stands at the Garden remained open all night serving coffee, Tom Peters, sales manager of the Garden, said last night. the unwilling overnight guests slept in the stands.

Many communities reported power failures.

Parts of Winthrop, just north of Boston, have been evacuated because of flooding. The National Weather Service predicted tides two to four feet above normal and warned yesterday of possible flooding in coastal areas.

Meanwhile, a tanker yesterday reported taking on water in Salem Sound, 20 miles north of Boston. The tanker is carrying 3500 barrels of oil, a spokesman for the Coast Guard said.

The Greek tanker Global Hope, a 682-ft. tanker with 32 crewmen aboard, is grounded in 22-ft. waves, the Coast Guard said.

Two rescue vessels had to turn back in the rough seas.

"It still represents a potential major oil spill," John Bablitch, a Coast Guard spokesman, said.

Harvard will be open, of course.