Rare October snowstorm slams US
New York, October 30, 2011
A rare October snowstorm barreled up the US East Coast on Saturday, cutting power to more than two million households, forcing cancellation of scores of airline flights and causing at least three deaths.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts declared weather emergencies because of the storm.
"We are expecting the snow to continue to fall from New York City through Maine. By tomorrow morning it should be pretty much wrapped up across most areas," said AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alan Reppert.
Slippery conditions on a roadway caused the crash and death of a man driving in Colchester, Connecticut, said Scott Devico, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management.
In Temple, Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old man was killed when a snow-caked tree fell through his home, said a Muhlenberg Township Police Department dispatcher. And a 20-year-old man was electrocuted in Springfield, Massachusetts when he stepped out of his vehicle and touched an electrified guard rail, a Springfield police spokesman said.
Snow was falling from central Pennsylvania well into Massachusetts after blanketing parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland earlier in the day, AccuWeather.com said.
While October snow is not unprecedented, this storm could be record-setting in terms of snow totals. The unseasonably early storm broke a snow record that had stood since 1925 for New York's Central Park, AccuWeather.com said. New York City was expected to end up with three to six inches (7.5-15 cm) of snow before the storm tapers off on Saturday night, Reppert said.
Snow also fell in the US capital, Washington. Widespread power outages caused by snow, ice and falling trees were reported from the Mid-Atlantic into New England, leaving millions of customers in the dark.
In some areas, the outages exceeded those caused by Hurricane Irene, which left some 5 million customers in the dark when it struck the East Coast at the end of August.
The power outages included 606,388 customers reported by Connecticut Light and Power; 214,000 by PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania; 341,000 without power from PSE&G in New Jersey; more than 300,000 by First Energy in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; more than 77,000 by Con Edison in New York and more than 66,000 by Allegheny Power in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Another 205,890 customers of National Grid in Massachusetts and New York were without power and 17,467 customers reported by The United Illuminating Company in Connecticut.
Major delays were reported at Philadelphia International Airport and at New York-area airports. At least 1,000 flights had been cancelled, and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey closed for a period of time, said flight tracking service FlightAware.com.
In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy ordered non-emergency vehicles off the Wilbur Cross and Merritt Parkways due to dangerous driving conditions. - Reuters