A wide swath of the East Coast received the brunt of a Nor’easter on Friday as the storm left a path of heavy flooding, flight cancellations and higher winds stretching from Georgia to New England.
The National Weather Service reported that, “widespread snow, rain and strong winds developed overnight,” due to the slow-moving storm. “Inland flooding from the excessive rainfall and coastal flooding from high seas/storm surge will impact much of the area from New Jersey to Massachusetts,” the NWS said.
High wind warnings, coastal flood advisories and winter weather advisories were in effect in New England beginning on Friday morning.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency stated that by late Friday morning, parts of the state had received eight inches of snowfall and could receive up to 18 inches of total snowfall throughout the duration of the storm. Localized areas in the state may receive up to five inches of rain as well.
“Concerns for coastal flooding will continue into Saturday with potential for high tide flooding,” said NBC meteorologist Sherri Pugh.
“The coastal impacts will be the most important to watch as we move into the weekend as the effects will last even after the rain and snow comes to an end. Pounding waves and beach erosion are possible even into the Saturday night high tide. Coastal New Jersey, Long Island, and coastal Massachusetts are at risk of moderate flooding,” she continued.
Some parts of New York racked up as much as two feet of snow. John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City reported that around 25 percent of all scheduled flights on Friday had been cancelled, while all scheduled flights at LaGuardia Airport had also been stopped until further notice, both due to heavy rain and wind. Amtrak announced it was temporarily suspending service between Washington and Boston.
The high winds and rainfall made power failures a difficult issue.
“Those two things create an environment of power outages — downed power lines and trees blocking roadways,” said Steve Bellone, county executive of Suffolk County in New York.
Many states across the Northeast were experiencing massive power outages on Friday afternoon. New York State Electric & Gas said 86,920 customers were experiencing outages. Nearly 75,000 customers in Massachusetts were out of power according to the state’s emergency management agency. PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest electric company, said more than 80,000 of its customers were without power. Approximately 50,000 customers were without power in Ohio, according to OhioEdison.
As the winds continued to pummel the Northeast region, the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police reported that four barges attached to the Tappan Zee Bridge project came loose in the Hudson, although it was unclear if it was directly related to the storm.
Two of the vessel ran aground on the New Jersey side of the river, one sank near the Yonkers Sewer Treatment Plant and a number of commercial tugboats, the U.S. Coast Guard and the New York City Fire Department worked to secure the fourth barge, Parkway Police reported.
The storm’s impact waned in the southern part of the coast, but forecasted wind gusts of up to 70 mph still prompted building closures and delays in some areas. In Washington D.C, the Office of Personnel Management ordered that all federal offices be shuttered due to the imminent snow and wind.
Strong winds were also expected to hit the Carolinas and Georgia, with gusts as high as 40 mph possible. Minor flooding from creeks and rivers is also expected.