Northeast Cleans Up and Prepares for Next System after Deadly Windstorm
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Hundreds of homes and businesses remain without power in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. They are victims of a deadly nor’easter windstorm that swept up the East Coast from Virginia to New England, killing nine people.
At the height of the storm on Friday, winds were clocked at up to 80 mph.
As of Monday morning, more than 19,700 customers in Northern Virginia were still without power. Some Fairfax County schools remain closed for a second day.
Friday’s Windstorm Ranked among Top Five DC Metro Area Storms
Kevin Curtis, vice president of technical solutions at Dominion Power, said the weekend storm ranked among the "top five" as far as the number of customers affected in Northern Virginia. Almost 70,000 homes and businesses lost power.
In Maryland, crews were working to restore power to 2,900 homes in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, along with 700 customers in the District, The Washington Post reported.
Pennsylvania Deeply Affected by Storm
Hundreds of crews worked round the clock in Pennsylvania to clear trees and repair power lines for 100,000 customers. But officials cautioned that some homes might not have service restored until at least Tuesday.
The nor’easter knocked out service to 630,000 Peco electricity customers. It was “one of the worst storms” in the utility’s history, Peco’s incoming CEO Mike Innocenzo told Andrew Maykuth of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Power isn't expected to be restored in some areas until Tuesday or Wednesday night.
Work crews from as far as Texas and Canada were traveling to Philadelphia to assist in the recovery, Maykuth reported.
Gusting Winds Caused Extensive Damage in New Jersey
In New Jersey, about 90,000 residents were still without electricity on Sunday evening, according to the Star-Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper. The nor’easter was accompanied with heavy wet snow, measuring up to 16 inches in some parts of the state.
"There are hundreds of trees down, more than 200 poles damaged or down, over a thousand spans of wire affected," said Ron Morano, a spokesman for JCP&L, the local power company.
The gusting winds caused “extensive damage,” he added.
New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island Suffer Power Outages
More than 200,000 homes and businesses in New York and New Jersey area lost power on Saturday, the New York Post reported.
About 127,000 residents Rhode Islanders got their power back Sunday evening. But a steady snowfall early Monday “was adding challenges to restoring power to the last of the remaining 23,000 customers,” the Providence Journal said. The worst hit area was expected to be reconnected by late Monday.
Flood warnings for the Pawcatuck River in Washington County and the Pawtuxet River in Cranston were extended to 1 a.m. Tuesday, the NWS forecast office in Taunton, Massachusetts, told the Journal on Sunday night.
Boston Harbor Hit by Historic Flooding
In addition, CBS’s Boston affiliate, WBZ, reported “historic flooding” in the Boston Harbor area of State Street and Atlantic Ave., as the tide came in around 11 a.m. on Friday. According to WBZ, “Water rose to a near-historic level for the city, cresting to 14.67 feet. That is the third highest in Boston history.”
Next Storm Expected to Provide Up to 12 Inches of Snow in Northeast
Another storm is forecast for midweek. This storm is expected to drop eight to 12 inches of snow west of Boston down to Connecticut. Winds, however, are not expected to be as strong as the weekend storm. Also, the risk of coastal flooding is minimal so far, said National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Lenore Correia, in Taunton, Massachusetts.
The weather system should bring “plowable” amounts of snow across New Hampshire, John Cannon, an NWS meteorologist in Gray, Maine, told the Union Leader newspaper in Manchester.
That storm is not expected to be the last of the winter. Cannon said the approaching storm will be followed by another this weekend or early next week.