Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘an homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

Americas

Rare October snowstorm hits US East Coast

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-31

An unseasonal snowstorm slammed the US East Coast on Saturday, disrupting air travel and leaving more than three million homes and businesses without electricity. The storm is thought to have killed at least 11 people.

AP – A freak October snowstorm knocked out power Sunday to more than 3.1 million homes and businesses across the U.S. Northeast, with close to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow falling in some areas over the weekend.

The storm was even more damaging because leaves still on the trees caught more of the particularly wet and heavy snow, overloading branches that snapped and wreaked havoc.

“You just have absolute tree carnage with this heavy snow just straining the branches,” said National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro.

From Maryland to Maine, officials said it would take days to restore electricity, even though the snow ended Sunday.

The storm smashed record snowfall totals for October and worsened as it moved north. Communities in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit. Snowfall totals topped 27 inches (68.6 centimeters) in Plainfield, and nearby Windsor had gotten 26 inches (66 centimeters) by early Sunday.

The storm was blamed for at least 11 deaths, and states of emergency were declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York.

Roads, rails and airline flights were knocked out, and passengers on a JetBlue flight were stuck on a plane in Hartford, Connecticut, for more than seven hours on Saturday.

More than 800,000 power customers were without electricity in Connecticut alone – shattering the record set in August by Hurricane Irene. Massachusetts had more than 670,000 outages, and New Jersey more than 600,000 – including Gov. Chris Christie’s house. Parts of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Maryland and Vermont also were without power.

“It’s going to be a more difficult situation than we experienced in Irene,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “We are expecting extensive and long-term power outages.”

Thirty-two shelters were open around the state, and Malloy asked volunteer fire departments to allow people in for warmth and showers. At least four hospitals were relying on generators for power.

Many of the areas hit by the storm had also been hit by Irene. In New Jersey’s Hamilton Township, Tom Jacobsen also recalled heavy spring flooding and a particularly heavy winter before that.

“I’m starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow, because we’ve been getting spanked by her for about a year now,” he said while grabbing some coffee at a convenience store.

Vaccaro, the weather service spokesman, said the snowstorm "absolutely crushed previous records that in some cases dated back more than 100 years." Saturday was only the fourth snowy October day in New York’s Central Park since record-keeping began 135 years ago.

There usually isn’t enough cold air in the region to support a snowstorm this time of year, but an area of high pressure over southeastern Canada funneled cold air south into the U.S., Vaccaro said. That cold air combined with moisture coming from the North Carolina coast to produce the unseasonable weather.

The storm did less damage in coastal areas than it would have in winter because warm ocean temperatures limited snowfall, Vaccaro said.

A few businesses enjoyed the early snow: Ski resorts in Vermont and Maine opened early. But it was more commonly an aggravation.

Many residents were urged to avoid travel altogether. Speed limits were reduced on bridges between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A few roads closed because of accidents and downed trees and power lines, said Sean Brown, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The JetBlue passengers stranded at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport were on a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Newark, New Jersey, that had been diverted. Passenger Andrew Carter, a football reporter for the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, said the plane ran out of snacks and bottled water, and the toilets backed up.

JetBlue spokeswoman Victoria Lucia said power outages at the airport has made it difficult to get passengers off the plane, and added that the passengers would be reimbursed.

In 2007, passengers in JetBlue planes were stranded for nearly 11 hours at New York’s Kennedy Airport following snow and ice storms.

There were other flight delays in the region over the weekend, and commuter trains in Connecticut and New York were delayed or suspended because of downed trees and signal problems. Amtrak suspended passenger train service on several Northeast routes, and one train from Chicago to Boston got stuck overnight in Palmer, Massachusetts. The 48 passengers had food and heat, a spokeswoman said, and they were taken by bus Sunday to their destinations.

Five people died in Pennsylvania because of the storm, two each in car accidents in suburban Philadelphia. An 84-year-old Temple man was killed Saturday when a snow-laden tree fell on his home while he was napping in his recliner.

Storm-related traffic accidents also killed people in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. A New Jersey man died Saturday in a house fire sparked by a downed power line, and a man in Springfield, Massachusetts, was electrocuted by downed wires.

The snowstorm was even blamed for a death in Canada. Authorities say road conditions, no seatbelt and high speed were all factors in the death of a driver on eastern Prince Edward Island. Heavy rainfall and snow soaked parts of Atlantic Canada as the storm churned northward.

The snow was a bone-chilling slush in New York City, and was a taste of what’s to come for demonstrators camping out at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan for the Occupy Wall Street protest.

Nick Lemmin, of Brooklyn, spent his first night at Zuccotti in a sleeping bag in a tent, wearing thermals, a sweatshirt and a scarf.

“I slept actually pretty well,” he said. “It was pretty quiet.”

Lemmin said he thought the early snow was actually “a good test,” giving protesters a chance to deal with such weather before it sets in more permanently.

Date created : 2011-10-30

  • USA

    Irene death toll jumps as east coast battles floods

    Read more

  • WEATHER

    East coast awash as Irene moves into Canada

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)