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Heavy snow buries Northeast, leaving 700,000 without power

Two feet of snow fell in parts of northern New England with wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph in coastal areas as well as inland.
Heavy snow buries Northeast, leaving 700,000 without power
Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 04, 2024

A major spring storm brought heavy snow, rain and high winds to the Northeast on Thursday, downing trees and power lines and leaving around 700,000 homes and businesses without power. A woman was reported killed by a falling tree in a New York City suburb.

Two feet of snow fell in parts of northern New England by Thursday evening, with wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph in coastal areas as well as inland, according to the National Weather Service.

Maine and New Hampshire bore the brunt of the power outages, with about 341,000 and 155,000 respectively as of early Thursday afternoon, according to Local officials said the heavy, wet snow was to blame for bringing down trees and power lines.

“This was pretty much a classic nor’easter,” said Stephen Baron, a meteorologist for the weather service in York, Maine. “This is definitely a high-end storm for April. It’s not crazy for us to get snow in April but not usually getting double-digit amounts.”

The weather service said it was the biggest April nor'easter to hit the region since 2020.

Over a foot of snow had fallen in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where some residents who had lost power checked in at the The Wolfeboro Inn, general manager Shawn Black said.

“This is a lot of heavy, wet snow,” he said. “And the wind is out of the northeast, so it’s really not nice in a sense of temperature-wise, especially when the speed gets up to gusts of 55 mph. While I was out on the snowblower I could really feel my forehead just go numb."

Heavy snow made travel treacherous in northern parts of New England and New York, and numerous accidents were reported.

A crash shut down Interstate 95 northbound near Lewiston, Maine, for a short time on Thursday morning. In Windham, Maine, near Portland, a Jeep lost control and struck a police cruiser, but no one was injured.

The storm brought mostly heavy rain to southern portions of the Northeast, as well as high winds.

Late Wednesday afternoon, a tree fell on a vehicle in the Westchester County, New York, hamlet of Armonk, killing a woman who was the only person inside, police said.

Dozens of flights at airports in the region were canceled or delayed. Many schools and government offices were closed in northern areas.

State government was shutdown in Maine, where a special commission investigating the October mass shooting in Lewiston had to postpone a scheduled hearing.

“We recommend that you stay off the roads if you can, but if you must travel during the storm, be sure to give plow trucks, utility crews, and emergency first responders plenty of room as they work to keep us safe,” said Maine Gov. Janet Mills.

Utilities in northern New England said they were prepared for the storm, but power restoration could still be lengthy.

“Weather conditions are going to be hazardous on Thursday, and we ask everyone to use caution on the roads," said Jon Breed, spokesperson for Central Maine Power.

Whipping winds and driving rain battered Boston. Staff at the New England Aquarium there did a sweep of the roof to make sure nothing could blow into the sea lion habitat, which is partially exposed to the outdoors. The storm caught some visitors off guard.

“I just saw the wind and the rain and I just bought this little poncho to protect myself," said Claire Saussol, who was visiting Boston from France on Wednesday. "I wasn't prepared with the warm clothes. It’s worse than the north of France! Very worse, but it’s ok. It’s a pretty city.”

Meanwhile, cleanup work continued in several states wracked by tornadoes and other severe weather blamed for at least three deaths.

Severe weather earlier in the week knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in several other states. Tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.

Storms in northeastern Oklahoma on Tuesday unleashed three suspected tornadoes and dumped heavy rain that was blamed for the death of a 46-year-old homeless woman in Tulsa who was sheltering inside a drainage pipe.

In Pennsylvania, a woman in her 80s was killed in the Philadelphia suburb of Collegeville on Wednesday when a tree fell on her car, officials said.

SEE MORE: Deadly storms now threaten East Coast with heavy spring snowfall

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