Northeast slammed by Winter Storm

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

 

Immense snowfall beset much of the nation’s East Coast Saturday as an intense nor’easter moved through the region, blanketing homes and making many roads impassable.

The storm impacted Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the majority of New England, bringing not only 2-to-4 inches of snow per hour in some locations, but winds of up to 70 miles per hour.

For perspective, a tropical storm becomes a Category 1 hurricane when its winds reach 74 miles per hour.

“This storm is bringing strong winds and lots of snow, with coastal eastern and southeastern MA communities getting hit particularly hard,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker tweeted Saturday. “Through mid-morning tomorrow, you should not be traveling unless you absolutely have to.”

When snowfall began to subside, well after sundown, the Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Team, and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation began the process of clearing roads.

“The road-clearing mission continues throughout this winter night,” the State Police posted on its official Twitter profile. “Always impressive to see the plows in formation. Great job, @MassDOTand @MassDCR to keep up w/ this relentless storm on state roads.”

Power outages were pervasive in Massachusetts and, as of 1 a.m. Eastern, about 72,000 residents remained without power, according to PowerOutage.us. That number had dropped to about 54,000 by 9 a.m.

No other state was experiencing widespread power issues. In the early morning hours, about 2,800 people in Maine, 908 in Pennsylvania, 300 in New York, 50 in New Hampshire, 34 in New Jersey, and 14 in Connecticut were without power.

In New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency, Atlantic City experienced 33.2 inches of snow, almost 13 inches more than the previous record.  

As of Saturday night, New Jersey State Police had, from 6 p.m. Friday to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, responded to 283 auto accidents and 641 calls for assistance from motorists needing assistance

At about midnight, states across the region began reopening highways to more extensive travel.

“In coordination with our neighboring states, we will be lifting the previously implemented tractor trailer travel ban at 11:59 p.m. tonight,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont tweeted. “The roads are still slick, and we encourage everyone who can to stay home tonight while state and local plow crews clear them.”

As of this writing, no reports had been made with regard to injuries or fatalities related to the storm, and an estimate of the cost of damage caused by the storm was not yet available.

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