Heavy rain in Maine, deep snow in New York and more than mil­lion pow­er­less

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

AL­BANY, N.Y. (AP) — A slow-mov­ing win­ter storm smacked the U.S. North­east on Fri­day, un­leash­ing heavy snow, rain and hur­ri­cane­force winds as it knocked out power to more than a mil­lion homes and busi­nesses. It turned Maine beach­front streets into rivers and piled on the mis­ery in places hit by three ma­jor bl­iz­zards in less than a month.

Ev­ery form of travel was mis­er­able if not im­pos­si­ble. More than 1,000 flights were can­celled, bus ser­vice across north­ern New Jer­sey was knocked out and roads from Ohio to West Vir­ginia to Maine were closed. State troop­ers used snow­mo­biles to reach mo­torists stranded for hours on an east­ern New York high­way.

“ We’re buried,” said Gra­ham Foster, high­way su­per­in­ten­dent in the town of Wap­pinger, one of the hard­est hit ar­eas in up­state New York. “My men have been out since 7 yes­ter­day morn­ing and we’re not mak­ing much head­way be­cause there are so many trees down and wires down.”

Foster, who was work­ing on one hour of sleep Fri­day, said one of his big con­cerns was get­ting more diesel fuel for his con­stantly run­ning plows. Many lo­cal gas pumps were in­op­er­a­ble be­cause of wide­spread power out­ages.

Power fail­ures were so se­vere and wide­spread in New Hamp­shire — 330,000 of the state’s roughly 800,000 cus­tomers — that even the state Emer­gency Op­er­a­tions Cen­ter was op­er­at­ing on a gen­er­a­tor. Util­ity of­fi­cials said it would take days for all those lights to flicker back on.

It was wind and rain rather than snow that wreaked havoc in that fa­mously frigid state and its neigh­bour Maine. Parts of south­ern Maine were hit with more than 8 inches of rain.

Ar­eas to the south, mean­while, got their third heavy dump­ing of snow this month. Mon­roe, N.Y., re­ceived 31 inches, and New York City got more than 20.

A man was killed by a fall­ing snow-laden tree branch in Cen­tral Park in New York City, one of at least three deaths be­ing blamed on the storm.

Much of the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly Philadel­phia and south­ern New Jer­sey, only re­cently fin­ished clean­ing up from a pair of storms a few weeks ago.

Fri­day’s storm made Fe­bru­ary the snowiest month ever for New Brunswick, N.J.; it has got­ten 37 inches so far. This had al­ready been the snowiest win­ter for Philadel­phia and At­lantic City, N.J., be­fore the lat­est storm dropped an­other 4 to 5 inches by mid­morn­ing Fri­day.

The high­est wind re­ported was 91 mph off Portsmouth, N.H. — well above hur­ri­cane force of 74 mph. Gusts also hit 60 mph or more from the moun­tains of West Vir­ginia to New York’s Long Is­land and Mas­sachusetts.

In Ep­ping, N.H., howl­ing winds crashed a tree onto Joe and Lau­rie Man­tini’s ru­ral home late Thurs­day night; an­other tree crushed their parked recre­ational trailer. On Fri­day, a tarp cov­ered the right side of their home as a con­trac­tor and an in­sur­ance ad­juster were at work.

In Maine, waves crash­ing ashore at high tide Fri­day morn­ing flooded streets in Saco, where storms have claimed sev­eral homes over the years.

“Felt like the walls were com­ing in on the house, and the win­dows were rat­tling, and the trees were crack­ing. It was pretty im­pres­sive,” said Mark Bre­ton, who rode out the storm in his house a few blocks from the beach.

Wa­ter from a storm-swollen pond was spilling over a 300-yearold dam in Free­town, Mass.; about a dozen peo­ple were ad­vised to tem­po­rar­ily leave their homes as a pre­cau­tion.

At the peak of the out­ages early Fri­day, there were 260,000 cus­tomers without power in Con­necti­cut, and 220,000 cus­tomers in New York, mostly in the Hud­son Val­ley north of New York City. There were 140,000 in Maine, 100,000 in Mas­sachusetts, 25,000 in Ver­mont, and 11,000 in New Jer­sey.

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