Oct. 27 (UPI) — More than a half-million customers were without electricity in the Northeast early Wednesday due to heavy rains and strong winds from a deadly major nor’easter that’s also caused serious flooding in New York and Massachusetts.
The storm began to affect the Northeast early Tuesday and was forecast to continue producing severe weather through Wednesday.
One person was killed in Morris Township, N.J., after a tree limb fell on two cars Wednesday morning and a 45-year-old kayaker was found dead off the coast of the Bronx after departing on Monday night from Long Island to Westchester County around the time the storm began, ABC News reported.
Almost 450,000 customers in Massachusetts were without power by Wednesday evening, according to Poweroutage.us. About 4,000 in New York, Connecticut and Maine and 44,000 in Rhode Island also had no electricity. Blackouts also affected several thousand in New Jersey, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
Some Massachusetts communities saw 100% power blackouts, including the South Shore, Cape Cod and Cape Ann.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker warned that “tons of crews” will be on the ground to conduct restoration work and that recovery will likely take several days after touring damage Wednesday.
“There is significant work left to be done,” Baker said. “The most significant impact that we’re seeing at this point obviously, relates to the power outage.”
Officials said hurricane-force gusts of up to 80 mph toppled trees and power lines in Massachusetts and other portions of New England, and several schools in the state were forced to close due to no power and obstructions blocking roadways.
The National Weather Service said the powerful gusts were expected to die down later Wednesday.
“Additional rainfall amounts will be marginal, but winds will remain strong until this evening when the surface pressure gradient weakens,” the NWS said in a statement. “Wind advisories, high wind warnings and flood watches remain in effect for parts of southern New England.”
Brockton, Mass., Mayor Robert Sullivan declared a state of emergency at noon.
“The storm poses an imminent threat to public safety with a high likelihood of hazardous conditions, flooding, downed trees, widespread power outages, and property damage,” Sullivan said.
Seven New Jersey counties were under flood warnings after receiving several inches of rain on Tuesday. The counties, mostly in northern New Jersey, face potential flooding conditions with more heavy rain on the way. Forecasters say it could arrive on Friday.
In New York, a coastal advisory was in effect for Suffolk and southern Nassau counties after heavy rain and high winds pounded the Long Island area. Gusts were near hurricane strength and advisories were issued in both counties.
Dozens of commercial flights were canceled and delayed on Wednesday at Boston Logan International Airport, according to FlightAware.