Published On: Sat, Mar 3rd, 2018

Seven killed, lakhs without power as massive storm pounds US

Washington: At least seven people were killed and over one million left without power as a massive storm continued to pummel the US East Coast on Saturday with drenching rain, howling winds and surging waves. The nor’easter also brought travel services to a halt.

The storm that morphed into a “bomb cyclone” knocked out power to more than one million customers

The fatalities included a six-year-old boy in Virginia who died after a tree fell on his family’s home. Others were an 11-year-old boy in New York state; a 57-year-old man in Upper Merion, Pennsylvania; a 77-year-old woman in Baltimore; a 72-year-old man in Newport, Rhode Island and a 44-year-old man in James City County, Virginia, ABC News reported.

All were hit by falling trees. There was one more storm-related death, according to officials.

The storm that morphed into a “bomb cyclone” knocked out power to more than one million customers — with more than 440,000 of them in Massachusetts. Virginia had at least 301,671 customers without power, and the Washington area counted over 154,000 people without power.

Over 4,000 flights were cancelled in the US on Friday, according to FlightAware. Nearly half of all scheduled flights at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport were cancelled on Saturday, the airport said.

Rail operator Amtrak temporarily halted service between New York, Boston and Washington. It tweeted on Friday that its Northeast Corridor service was “temporarily suspended due to multiple weather related issues”.

Airlines, including Delta, United and Southwest, were offering fee waivers for flight cancellations or changes involving affected airports. Airports on the East Coast had been experiencing delays and ground stops, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Massachusetts was hit hard by the storm. High tides powered coastal flooding in Boston and other towns, leaving city streets awash for the second time since a massive nor’easter in early January, CNN reported.

A foot (30 cm) of snow fell on northern and western areas of New York state.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had declared a state of emergency in order to marshal resources and “appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery measures”, according to a statement.

In the Washington area, federal offices didn’t open, schools closed and trash collection was suspended. The wind even directed its wrath at the Capitol, blowing out a window on the west front over the Olmstead Terrace, an official from the Architect of the Capitol office said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “March is coming in like a lion”.

The storm was moving slowly and the wind, rain and flood effects will linger for days, officials said. Parts of eastern Long Island and eastern Massachusetts were predicted to get up to five inches of rain through Saturday.

The rest of the region could see two to four inches of rain. A foot of snow had already fallen in parts of eastern Massachusetts.

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