ATTLEBORO - The first storm of two expected to hit the region between today and Wednesday dumped about 5.5 inches of snow before it turned to sleet and freezing rain this afternoon.
The morning commute was a sloppy one as another powerful winter storm moved into the area.
The snow started around 6 this morning and by 8 a.m. the Attleboro Water Department reported an inch of snowfall. By 3:30 p.m. about 5 1/2 inches had fallen before the snow turned to sleet and freezing rain.
The storm today was expected to dump 4-8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a winter storm warning from today through early Thursday.
There were several minor accidents during the rush hour commute this morning and area firefighters responded to a few slip and fall calls.
The storm is expected to reload and come back in a second wave that could unload up to 16 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain Wednesday.
It could cause power outages in parts of southern New England that will be hit by up to half an inch of ice.
Fire officials fear roof collapses as the snow mixed with rain settles onto roofs already covered with snow, adding to the weight.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain are predicted for Wednesday morning before it turns to rain and possibly turning back to sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon. Snow may be heavy at times in the morning, according to the weather service.
The heavy snowfall has prompted State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan to renew his warnings for residents to make sure furnace vents are clear from snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Coan also said everyone should have installed carbon monoxide alarms in their homes by now. The detectors have been are required by law since 2006.
The law requires nearly every Massachusetts home to install carbon monoxide detectors on every habitable level including parts of basements and attics used for living. The alarms must be within ten feet of every bedroom.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that results from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such gas, propane, oil, wood, coal, and gasoline.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu. People may have a headache and feel dizzy and tired. Carbon monoxide poisoning could be fatal.