First nor’easter of the season dumps heavy snow and cuts off power to hundreds of thousands across Northeast Dakin Andone Monica Garrett Christina Maxouris
The season’s first nor’easter has dropped nearly 3 feet of snow over parts of the US Northeast as of Tuesday evening, piling on trees and power lines and causing power outages for tens of thousands in the frigid weather with more snow possible into the night.
More than 240,000 customers across the region were without electricity as the sun went down Tuesday, including in New York, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us.
Areas from upstate New York into southern New England have reported snowfall totals of at least 2 feet since Monday night, and parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine could see another 6 to 12 inches through the night, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
The heavy snowfall, coupled with strong wind gusts, created dangerous conditions for drivers Tuesday, with New York state’s transportation department warning residents the safest place to be is home.
In New Hampshire, fire officials rescued a child who had been trapped under a tree that fell, the Derry Fire Department said on Facebook. The child had been playing near a parent who was clearing snow, fire officials said.
For nearly 20 minutes, more than a dozen first responders used their hands, chainsaws, and shovels to free the child, the fire department said. The child was taken to a hospital with minor injuries but was in “good spirits,” it added.
What to expect Wednesday
Millions of people in the region were under winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories Tuesday evening during the nor’easter – a type of storm that travels along the Eastern Seaboard and brings winds from the northeast.
Live updates: Snow, rain and flooding pummel US coast to coast
Here’s what to expect going into Wednesday:
• The nor’easter is expected to continue dumping snow across New England overnight and taper off early Wednesday, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
• The winds won’t slow down as quickly: Areas from the mid-Atlantic through the Northeast will experience strong wind gusts through Wednesday afternoon, which could mean more power outages and woes for travelers.
• Parts of Massachusetts could also see minor coastal flooding and beach erosion Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.
More than 1,000 flights canceled
The weather caused major disruptions for air travelers, with hundreds of flights canceled or delayed Tuesday.
More than 1,100 flights within, into, or out of the US were canceled, and more than 5,200 were delayed, according to FlightAware.com.
Among the most affected airports in the US were New York’s LaGuardia Airport and the Boston Logan International Airport – both of which urged passengers to check their flight status before going there.
Also in New York, the nose gear of a Delta Air Lines plane went beyond the paved taxiway at Syracuse Hancock International Airport while taxiing for departure to LaGuardia on Tuesday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
‘Please check on your neighbors’
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency across dozens of upstate counties that went into effect Monday night.
The governor’s office said it activated the state’s emergency operations center Monday in response to the severe weather, and also activated the state’s National Guard to help with any response efforts.
“This winter storm has already dumped nearly 2 feet of snow in some of the eastern regions of the state, north of Westchester County, with heavy, wet snow causing power outages,” state Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said Tuesday.
“As power restoration and snow removal efforts continue, please check on your neighbors and loved ones to make sure they are weathering the storm safely,” Bray added.
In Massachusetts, roughly 1,700 pieces of equipment were deployed to help with snow and ice response, the state’s transportation department said.
The city of Worcester was prepared to assist residents with burst pipes, City Manager Eric Batista told “CNN This Morning” on Tuesday.
“Right now, the biggest concern for residents is to make sure they stay home and they stay safe,” he said.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills closed all government offices on Tuesday and advised residents to “stay off the roads if they can, plan for extra time if traveling, and give plenty of space to road crews and first responders working hard to keep us safe.”
Utilities and transit agencies announced preparations and gave advice in anticipation of the storm’s impacts.
Power company ConEdison, which serves New York City and neighboring Westchester County, brought in more than 400 outside workers to assist with possible outages, the utility said in a news release.
ConEdison warned customers to avoid downed wires – which could be hidden by snow, leaves or water – and report them to the utility or local authorities.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which serves a 5,000-square-mile travel area surrounding New York City, Long Island, southeastern New York state and Connecticut, announced plans to maintain as much service as possible.
“MTA employees will be deployed throughout the operating region spreading salt and clearing surfaces of snow, keeping signals, switches, and third rails operating, and attending to any weather-related challenges,” a news release from the authority said.