At least 5 dead, 1.2 million without power as deadly ‘bomb cyclone’ pushes into the Atlantic
A deadly storm that hammered the Northeast with relentless rain, snow and powerful winds moved out to sea Saturday — but its effects will linger for days.
The nor’easter killed at least five people, caused massive flooding and knocked out power for more than 1 million customers from the mid-Atlantic to New England.
Those affected by power outages will not get relief immediately.
“People in these homes need to plan for a prolonged outage,” Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said Friday night. “This is a multi-day restoration event.”
Emergency officials urged residents to stay indoors, even after the storm pushed out.
“This is not a time to be out sightseeing and gawking, so please stay at home and stay out of our way,” James Boudreau, the town administrator for Scituate, Massachusetts, said Saturday.
Some 19 million people were still under a coastal flooding warning Saturday morning.
The storm morphed Friday into a “bomb cyclone” after undergoing a rapid pressure drop known as bombogenesis. It slammed much of the Northeast with heavy snow and rain, prompting significant coastal flooding and hurricane-force gusts in New England.
Winds along parts of the Massachusetts coast that whipped in excess of 90 miles per hour are due to ease Saturday, CNN forecasters said.
The storm also dumped heavy snow from Ohio to New England and into upstate New York, where more than 3 feet was recorded.
• Power outages: More than 1.2 million customers were without power Saturday across Virginia, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
• Aftermath response: The governors of Maryland and Virginia issued emergency declarations, allowing state and local agencies to help those affected.
• Flight cancellations: About 250 flights in the storm zone were canceled Saturday, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com. That compares with more than 3,000 US flights scratched Friday, most at the busiest Northeast airports in Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
• Amtrak back in service: Amtrak resumed modified service at 6:20 a.m. ET Saturday, on its Northeast Corridor between Washington and New York, and planned to resume service between New York and Boston beginning at 8:40 a.m., the provider said.
Five killed by falling trees
At least five people died in the storm, all killed by falling trees, authorities said. They include: a 77-year-old woman in Kingsville, Maryland; an 11-year-old boy in Putnam County, New York; a 44-year-old man in James City County, Virginia; a 6-year-old in Chesterfield County, Virginia; and a Newport, Rhode Island, man in his 70s.
The 11-year-old was in his home when a large tree came crashing down, trapping him. A responding deputy tried to free the boy, whose mother was taken to hospital, WPIX reported.
Another young boy, just 6 years old, suffered a similar fate when a tree fell through his Virginia mobile home as he was sleeping on a top bunk bed, according to WRIC. The boy was rushed to hospital, but his mother told the station his organs were failing.
“Doctors say we have to let him go,” she said.
Cynthia Creighton’s son was in her car when a neighbor’s tree fell on top of the vehicle in Watertown, Massachusetts.
“The house shook, and we heard a noise. We didn’t know what it was,” Creighton told WHDH. “We ran out, my son was still in the car with the tree on top of it.”
Creighton’s son, who was in the back seat, was not injured, she said.
Boston under water
High tides on Friday powered coastal flooding in Boston and other parts of Massachusetts, leaving streets awash for the second time since a massive nor’easter in early January.
Kayakers paddled down Boston streets and National Guard members rescued 50 people from their homes in nearby Quincy, sometimes carrying them to safety in the scoopers of front-end loaders, WBZ reported.
Boston Harbor has only seen tides above 15 feet twice — in 1978 and in January, during the last bomb cyclone. A high tide late Friday morning came up a little short, reaching 14.67 feet, but still sent water sloshing through the streets of East Boston.
More record-setting high tides might strike Boston Harbor on Saturday during the midday high tide.
With the moon full, the tide is at its highest point of the month, and the storm surge could drive as much as 4 feet of water into coastal neighborhoods, CNN meteorologists said. Massachusetts emergency officials said tides “will be astronomically high” in the next few days.
“I encourage all residents to be mindful of the storm and encourage employers to take the weather into consideration, which will mostly impact the coastal areas of our city,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.
In Boston, many streets were closed and city officials advised people not to drive or walk in high water.