Sunday, March 14, 2010

Storm leaves Northeast soggy, windblown and dark

Bruce Shipkowski in the Associated Press: Utility crews pushed through fallen trees and windblown debris to reach downed power lines Sunday, working to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses as strong winds and heavy rain that wreaked havoc in parts of the Northeast pushed on into New England.

The storm, which battered parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut on Saturday with gusts of up to 70 mph, struck about two weeks after heavy snow and hurricane-force winds left more than a million customers in the Northeast in the dark. More than a half-million customers in the region lost electricity at the peak of Saturday's storm, and roughly 500,000 were waiting for power to be restored Sunday morning.

…Traveling was problematic on the rails and in the air. More than 500 passengers on a New Jersey Transit train were stranded for six to seven hours because of power supply problems, spokesman Dan Stessel said Sunday. Amtrak service between Philadelphia and New York was suspended for hours before limited service was restored, spokesman Cliff Cole said.

…Flights at Newark Liberty International Airport were delayed by as many as four hours Saturday, and some flights bound for New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport had to be redirected to Boston's Logan International Airport.

At the storm's peak, more than 265,000 customers in the New York City area and 235,000 customers in New Jersey were without power. The Philadelphia area reported 70,000 customers without electricity, while more than 80,000 customers in Connecticut sat in the dark.

…Flood warnings were issued for rivers in northern Jersey, including the Ramapo River at Mahwah and Saddle River at Lodi, where minor to moderate flooding was expected Saturday night and Sunday. A coastal flood advisory was in effect for the Jersey Shore. In northern New England, a wind advisory and flood watch were in effect for extreme southern Maine and parts of New Hampshire….

Saco, Maine, April 20, 2007 -- A home that succumbed to storm surge following the Patriots' Day Nor'easter. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde

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