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Warm winter brings problems to New England

From the Associated Press:

BOSTON (AP) -- Even thin-skinned New Englanders couldn't complain about last winter, with temperatures here hitting 60 degrees in January.

Portland, Maine saw the state's sixth warmest winter on record. Residents in Concord, N.H., escaped with just 49.7 inches of snow - almost 15 inches below normal.

But now, it seems, the region is paying for its meek winter in almost Biblical terms: fires, disease and insects. While no one is predicting locusts or frogs for June, the benefits of frozen ground and heaps of snow are becoming increasingly clear.

The sparse snowfall has helped fuel larger brush fires. Health workers are bracing for a surge in Lyme Disease because more ticking-carrying rodents lived through the mild winter.

And the relatively warm weather allowed a larger number of bugs to survive the season, prompting fears of a summer thick with black files, mosquitoes and invasive insects such as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.

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Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink