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Blizzard 2015: New England In Line for Up to Another Two Feet of Snow

Snow-socked New England isn't out of the woods yet.

The storm on Tuesday buried Massachusetts under as much as 3 feet of snow (in the town of Lunenburg), hurricane-force winds knocked out the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth and mammoth coastal swells collapsed a seawall in Marshfield.

The National Weather Service said parts of Boston had recorded 27 inches of snow since midnight and were likely to break the city's 24-hour record, set 12 years ago.

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In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, a major winter storm develops over the mid-Atlantic region and is bringing snow to the Northeast of the U.S. pictured at 14:15 UTC on January 26, 2015.
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In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, a major winter storm develops over the mid-Atlantic region and is bringing snow to the Northeast of the U.S. pictured at 14:15 UTC on January 26, 2015.

Here's the bad news: "We're not done yet in New England," said Ari Sarsalari, a forecaster for The Weather Channel.

Areas around Nashua, New Hampshire, which was buried under 33.2 inches of snow Tuesday, could get 2 more feet overnight, the weather service said. So could Portland, Maine, which got 27½ inches Tuesday.

"We've still got a lot of snow to go," Sarsalari said.

That includes northern Massachusetts, parts of which got almost 2 feet of snow Tuesday and could wake up to as much as 14 inches more Wednesday morning.

NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins warned that another Alberta Clipper storm was likely to spreading light snow in the Upper Midwest late Wednesday, arriving in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region on Thursday before leaving an additional one to three inches on the Northeast on Friday. Some parts of Maine could see as much as six inches of snow, Karins added.

In the meantime, things were expected to quiet down in southern parts of Massachusetts, including Boston, where only about 4 more inches was forecast. In coastal areas, like Marshfield and Nantucket island, where winds hit 78 mph, the storm caused considerable flooding and wind damage.

"There is about 4 feet of water in the street in front of the house," Eric Murphy, a pest control worker, told NBC News from his home in Marshfield. "We do get flooding here, but this is the worst I've seen in the 15 years I've lived here. My house is on stilts, but another few inches and we might be in trouble."

"We have a lot of damage from the high tide last night, a lot of high winds," Marshfield fire Capt. Shaun Robinson, who went from house to house Tuesday inspecting the damage, told NBC station WHDH of Boston. "The pilings on the front of the buildings literally were snapped."

The blizzard had been expected to pummel New York and Philadelphia, as well, but it tracked farther east than forecast models had predicted. For those areas, it was just another winter snowstorm. New York City's subways rolled back to life, and the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut lifted driving bans.

After forecasters' predictions caused cities up and down the Northeast to completely shut down, National Weather Service head Louis Uccellini admitted the agency failed to adequately explain the challenge of predicting snowfall in a large storm system and ordered employees to improve how they communicate with the public.

What is believed to have been the first death blamed on the storm took place in New York, when 17-year-old Sean Urda died after being injured Monday night in a sledding accident on Long Island, police said Tuesday.

Police said Urda and two other 17-year-olds were taking turns snow tubing down Chester Court in Huntington about 10 p.m. when Urda took a running start, slid rapidly down the hill and struck a light pole at the bottom.

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Air travel will remain a mess for at least another day. After more than 4,750 U.S. flights were canceled Tuesday — 4,322 arrivals and departures just at the three New York-area airports and the airports in Boston and Philadelphia — major airlines pre-emptively canceled more than 600 for Wednesday.

Stranded passengers were lined up on cots along a window at LaGuardia Airport in New York with no idea when they could fly.

"I started to read, and I dozed off," said Cynthia Maynard, who expected to be marooned for a second straight night as she tried to get home to Nassau, Bahamas. All nearby hotels were full.

The cots were fine, she told NBC News from the food court, but "you don't sleep soundly, no, by no stretch of the imagination."

But the storm turned out great for Lauren Piccolo of Manhattan, whose 1-year-old whippet, Burt, had been missing for five months. Fire Lt. Dave Kelly noticed him rummaging for food at the fire department's training facility at Randall's Island, NBC New York reported.

After he trapped the dog Monday night, Kelly scoured social media for clues and found Piccolo, who'd been posting hundreds of fliers since August.

An ecstatic Piccolo called the fire department's efforts "incredible and timely," saying that while Burt's "a resilient dog, I don't think he would have survived such a fierce storm."

NBC News' Tracy Connor, Tom Costello and Erin McClam contributed to this report.