Storm hits US east coast; five killed, over 90,000 left without power
New York: At least five people have been killed and over 90,000 households left without electricity as powerful storm continued to pound the US East Coast on Saturday with drenching rain.
The nor’easter has also prompted the cancellation of more than 3,300 flights, snarled ground traffic and knocked out power to 900,000 customers with more than 400,000 of them in Massachusetts, reports CNN.
At least five people have died, according to authorities: a 77-year-old woman in Kingsville, Maryland; an 11-year-old boy in Putnam County, Virginia; a 44-year-old man in James City County, Virginia; a juvenile in Chesterfield County, Virginia; and a Newport, Rhode Island, man who was in his 70s. All were killed by falling trees.
Massachusetts is taking the brunt of the storm, which hit Friday and was not expected to ease up until midday Saturday, according to weather authorities.
High tides powered coastal flooding in major cities including Boston, leaving streets awash for the second time since a massive nor’easter in early January.
Record-setting high tides might strike Boston Harbour on Saturday morning.
Kayakers paddled down Boston streets and national guardsmen rescued 50 people from their homes in nearby Quincy, sometimes carrying them to safety in the scoopers of front-end loaders, CNN reported.
Twenty-two million people were under a coastal flooding warning as of Friday.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said he has called in the National Guard and urged vigilance.
“Do not ride out the storm if you are told to evacuate,” Baker said.
The storm morphed into a “bomb cyclone” late Friday morning when it underwent so-called bombogenesis, signalled by an extreme drop in atmospheric pressure.
“Since 10 a.m., Thursday, this storm has rapidly dropped in pressure, officially passing the definition of 24 millibars in 24 hours,” a meteorologist told CNN. “It continues to strengthen.”
More than 3,000 US flights have been cancelled, including hundreds at the busiest Northeast airports in Boston, Philadelphia and New York, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com.
Airlines, including Delta, United and Southwest, are offering fee waivers for flight cancellations or changes involving affected airports.
Amtrak also announced it had suspended train service between New York and Boston.