Two million in 13 states struggle with power loss, flooding after nor’easter
DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — More than 2 million households and businesses in 13 states across the Northeast were without power Saturday morning after a powerful storm flooded streets, toppled trees and knocked out electricity.
The nor’easter led to the deaths of at least seven people in several states. Most were killed by falling trees or branches, according to ABC affiliates.
Among the victims was a 6-year-old boy who died early Friday morning when a tree fell onto his family’s home while he was asleep in Chester, Virginia, according to ABC affiliate WRIC-TV in Richmond, Virginia.
The fierce storm brought heavy rain, wind and snow to the region, causing rough seas and coastal flooding. The storm strengthened rapidly Friday, undergoing what’s known as bombogenesis or “bombing out,” when a low-pressure system drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.
Numerous roads remained closed Saturday morning due to debris, fallen trees and downed power lines. Air and rail service across the Northeast was impacted significantly with delays and cancellations. Amtrak began to restore service Saturday morning, after it suspended all service on its Northeast Corridor line on Friday amid the height of the storm.
There were still 2,089,349 customers without power in states across the Northeast as of Saturday 10 a.m. ET. Several communities in Massachusetts were in complete darkness.
In eastern Massachusetts, a storm surge reported to be as high as 3 feet caused widespread street flooding. Numerous people had to be rescued from the rising waters, particularly in the city of Quincy, where the National Guard performed rescues overnight.
Boston Harbor saw historic flooding because the nor’easter coincided with high tide on Friday. The current record at Boston Harbor was set just in January at 15.16 feet. Friday morning’s high tide fell just short of that, peaking at 14.67 feet, for the city’s third-highest flooding on record, according to the National Weather Service.
Later Friday, just before midnight, the high tide peaked at 13.83 feet, with a 2.9-foot storm surge, according to the National Weather Service. Another high tide near 14.6 feet was forecast around noon Saturday.
Along Cape Cod, the high tide on Saturday will reach near major flood stage, and will once again be in the Top 3 crests on record.
Top rainfall totals came in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, which received 5.74 inches of rain, while Cobleskill, New York, set the high mark with 39.3 inches of snow. Barnstable, Massachusetts, saw the highest wind gust on Friday at 93 mph, while Boston saw a 70 mph gust and New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport measured one at 67 mph.
Nor’easters along the East Coast get their name because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast.
The weather radar and satellite Saturday morning showed precipitation has moved offshore with only a few rain showers and snow bands remaining over the Northeast.
With the storm moving slowly out to sea, there could be more coastal flooding from Virginia to Maine during the high-tide cycles Saturday.
While the storm is several hundred miles away, wind gusts could reach 30 to 50 mph through much of the day Saturday across the Northeast, including in all major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor. The strong gusty winds will hamper recovery efforts, especially in restoring power.
The nor’easter is forecast to be gone Sunday, and winds will be calmer.
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