Hundreds of thousands of homes in the Northeast were without electricity Thursday, a day after the region’s second major storm in a week left at least one person dead and whipped the area with heavy snow and stiff winds, downing power lines and leaving precarious road conditions.
The nor’easter may drop several inches of snow in Massachusetts and northern New England into Thursday afternoon, but largely the storm did its worst Wednesday, leaving about 900,000 customers without power along the East Coast from Virginia to Maine.
Wednesday’s nor’easter dumped heavy, wet snow at an intense rate in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and southern New England, especially west of Interstate 95, with accumulations of 2 feet or more reported in some areas.
Schools in areas such as Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston were closed Thursday as transportation officials urged people to limit their driving so crews could treat and clear roads.
Police attributed at least one death to the storm: Barbara Soleski, 88, died after a tree fell and struck her Wednesday evening in the village of Suffern in southern New York, police said.
About 40,000 customers in the Northeast already were without power as a result of last weekend’s storm.
In the Philadelphia suburb of Wallingford, Andrew Danner had been in the dark nearly a week. He’s using headlamps to navigate inside his home.
“I basically took all my backpacking/camping gear out of the basement, and I’m just winter camping now,” Danner said, according to CNN affiliate KYW. “I have my winter sleeping bag, (and) camp stove in the sunroom in case I need to boil water.”
Snow continues in New England
The storm has mostly passed in the Northeast.
“New England will still be feeling the effects of the wind and residual snowfall (though light) through Friday,” CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
Coastal flooding is also a concern, with a warning in effect for eastern Massachusetts, the National Weather Service said.
“Minor to moderate flooding; inundation of low-lying areas, especially where coast was compromised with last storm; overwash, beach erosion also expected,” the weather service’s Boston office tweeted early Thursday.
Winds and snow brought down plenty of power lines, piling on to the crippling outages remaining from last weekend.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf announced a state of emergency for several counties. Some communities outside Philadelphia, such as Rosemont and Wrightstown Township, recorded more than 1 foot of snow.
New Jersey was walloped, with some communities reporting more than 14 inches.
Accumulation varied wildly across short distances. The New Jersey community of Montville received 26.8 inches, while Manhattan’s Central Park, roughly 20 miles to the southeast, recorded just 2.9 inches.
In New York state, Sloatsburg topped the list of most snowfall Wednesday night, with 26 inches within 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo deployed 400 National Guard troops to conduct wellness checks and assist with storm recovery.
The snowstorm also brought a rare phenomenon in some parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, the weather service said. Known as “thundersnow,” it’s snow paired with lightning and resulting thunder.
More than 500 flights — including at airports in New Jersey, New York, Boston and Philadelphia — were canceled by midday Thursday, according to FlightAware.
Amtrak suspended or reduced some service in affected areas. That includes trips between New York’s Penn Station and Boston, which were suspended through Thursday morning.
The Metro-North Railroad, which serves parts of New York and Connecticut, was operating on a reduced schedule.
Another big storm next week?
While the Northeast digs out of this latest mess, forecasters are looking for signs that another coastal storm could form in days.
A US forecast model shows a storm could develop by early next week, potentially bringing more snow and strong winds to the East Coast. A European model, however, points to the system moving farther out over the Atlantic, having little or no impact on the Northeast.