Snow clings to berries on a tree, Monday Dec. 4,...

Snow clings to berries on a tree, Monday Dec. 4, 2023, in Portland, Maine. A storm dropped a mix of rain and snow on parts of New England, with some locations recording more than a half-foot of snow. Credit: AP/Patrick Whittle

A storm dropped a mix of rain and snow on parts of New England with some locations recording more than a half-foot (15 centimeters) of snowfall on Monday, knocking out power for tens of thousands of customers and causing slick roads that contributed to a fiery propane truck crash in Vermont.

Evacuations were ordered in two communities, including at a pair of schools, after the propane tanker went off the Vermont Route 14 bridge into the Black River in Irasburg and caught fire, state police said.

Emergency workers created a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) perimeter around the crash site in the event of an explosion, but firefighters opted to let the blaze burn itself out after drone video revealed a puncture in the 10,000-gallon (38-kiloliter) tank that reduced the likelihood of a catastrophic blast. The driver was unhurt, officials said.

At the peak, more than 25,000 homes and businesses in Maine and more than 11,000 in Vermont were without electricity as trees and branches laden with heavy, wet snow fell on power lines, officials said. Temperatures were hovering close to freezing across much of northern New England.

The National Weather Service declared the first winter storm warning of the season for New Hampshire and western Maine. Northernmost Vermont was also under a winter storm warning Monday. Far northern Maine, also under a warning, already saw heavy snow before Thanksgiving.

Some mountainous areas of western Maine and New Hampshire could see over a foot of snow. Vermont was expected to get closer to 8 inches (20 centimeters).

The snow made for a messy, slushy commute in many places. Many communities in northern New England had school delays and closures for the day.

Dave Torres, left, Till Graves, center, and Henry Torres, right,...

Dave Torres, left, Till Graves, center, and Henry Torres, right, build a snow cave, Monday Dec. 4, 2023, in Marshfield, Vt. A storm dropped a mix of rain and snow on parts of New England, with some locations recording more than a half-foot of snow. Credit: AP/Lisa Rathke

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