Saturday, 9 February 2013

Northeast blizzard turns deadly

A deadly blizzard of epic proportions is pounding the Northeast, bringing more than 3 feet of snow to some areas and cutting power to 650,000 homes and businesses.
More than 3 feet has fallen on central Connecticut, and areas of southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire notched 2 feet or more of snow - with more falling.

The storm is being blamed on at least six deaths, three in Canada and three in the USA. In New York, a 74-year-old man died after being struck by a car in Poughkeepsie; the driver said she lost control in the snowy conditions, police said. Another New Yorker died when the tractor he was using to plow his driveway ran off the edge of the road.

Hurricane-force wind gusts are sweeping the Northeast. Winds gusted to 76 mph at Logan airport and 82 mph in Westport, Conn. Blizzard warnings were posted from parts of New Jersey to Maine.
More than 6,300 flights in North America have been canceled through 11 a.m. Saturday, according to flight-tracking service FlightStats. Hundreds of motorists, and even snowplows and rescue workers have been stranded.

In the shoreline community of Fairfield, Conn., police and firefighters could not come in to work, so the overnight shift was staying on duty, said First Selectman Michael Tetreau. And several state police cars were reported stuck in deep snow in Maine, where stranded drivers were warned to expect long waits for tow trucks.

In the New York City area, John F. Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Airport were open as of 7 a.m. Saturday, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Some commercial flights were expected to resume as early as 9 a.m., but carriers have canceled many flights. Travelers were urged to call ahead and check with their carriers for specific flight information.

Acela train express service between New York City and Boston remained shut down Saturday, Amtrak reported.
Southbound Northeast Regional service from Boston was expected to resume on a limited schedule at 11:40 a.m. Northbound Northeast Regional service from Penn Station in New York City was also expected to resume limited service as of 11:30 a.m., Amtrak reported.

While the blizzard, dubbed "Nemo" by the Weather Channel, the blizzard has ended in New York City, heavy snow and strong wind gusts are expected to continue across much of New England through midday, before tapering off from west to east through the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Blizzard warnings are scheduled to expire at 1 p.m. in Boston, Providence, and Worcester, and at 4 p.m. in coastal Maine. Snow will taper off completely by late afternoon, said meteorologist Chris Dolce of the Weather Channel. Temperatures will hover in the teens in northern New England and in the 20s in southern New England today, and rise into the 30s Sunday, according to AccuWeather.

Nemo is now officially the sixth-greatest in Boston history, according to the National Weather Service. An official snow total from Boston's Logan Airport this morning registered 21.8 inches, which puts it in sixth place on the all-time list. Snow is still falling in Boston, so that number is likely to go up. The record snowfall in Boston is 27.5 from Feb. 17-18, 2003.

The storm brought a record snowfall of 29.3 inches to Portland, Maine, breaking the previous high of 27.1 inches from Jan. 17-18, 1979.
New Haven, Conn., has already seen 29.8 inches of snow and 34 inches were dumped on Hamden, Conn., according to the National Weather Service.

The blizzard dumped a preliminary total of 30.3 inches at the National Weather Service office in Upton, N.Y., on eastern Long Island.

"We may be in the top 10 (largest snowfalls in recent history) for Suffolk County, and maybe in the top five," said David Stark, a meteorologist working at the Upton office Saturday morning.
The highest snowfall total from the storm so far is in Milford, Conn., which has received 38 inches.

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