Nearly 200,000 customers without power in the Northeast as strong winds from a departing nor’easter linger in the region
By Elizabeth Wolfe and Rob Shackelford, CNN
Parts of a nor’easter that buried portions of the Northeast under feet of snow and left hundreds of thousands without power will linger Wednesday over New England, where it is expected to bring limited snow but heavy winds that could cause more outages before shifting off the coast.
An additional 1 to 4 inches of snowfall is forecast over parts of upstate New York and New England on Wednesday, the National Weather Service says, after some parts of the region were pummeled with more than 2 feet of snow Tuesday.
Several communities reported snowfall of 36 inches by Tuesday night, including the towns of Moriah and Stony Creek in New York, and Marlboro, Vermont. In Beacon, New York, 43 inches of snow was reported but that number may be inaccurate based on totals in surrounding areas.
Though snowfall will taper off significantly overnight, strong winds with gusts of up to 50 mph were expected to blow through areas of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast throughout the morning.
More than 193,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast were without power as of Wednesday morning, according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us, down from about 250,000 outages reported overnight. Additional outages are possible Wednesday as strong winds threaten to break snow-loaded tree limbs and down power lines, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.
The nor’easter — a type of storm that travels along the Eastern Seaboard and brings winds from the northeast — disrupted daily life across swaths of the region, creating treacherous or impossible to navigate road conditions and creating hazards for those trying dig out of the snow.
In Derry, New Hampshire, a falling tree struck and trapped a child who’d been playing near a parent who was clearing snow Tuesday afternoon, the city fire department said. Firefighters and police officers used chainsaws and shovels to free the child, who was brought to a hospital with minor injuries.
“Please be mindful of the increased danger for injuries and heart attacks when shoveling heavy-wet snow,” the National Weather Service cautioned Tuesday.
The storm also caused a slew of school closures and class delays across the region on Tuesday. Some schools also will be impacted Wednesday, including Worcester Public Schools in Massachusetts, which announced a two-hour delayed start.
In New York, where about 40,000 residences and businesses remained without power early Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced several warming centers available in hard-hit counties, including Albany, Ulster and Saratoga counties. The governor also implored residents to “continue to avoid unnecessary travel so plows and emergency personnel can do their jobs.”
Heavy snow hinders travel
More than 2,000 flights within, into or out of the United States were canceled Tuesday, and more than 6,000 additional flights were delayed, mostly connected to airports in the Northeast as the storm plowed through the region, according to tracking site FlightAware.
Airlines including Delta, American, United, Southwest, JetBlue and Spirit have issued travel waivers or flexible rebooking policies for passengers whose flights were impacted by the winter weather.
Officials throughout the affected region warned drivers to take extra precautions or avoid snow-covered or icy roads.
In New Hampshire, state troopers responded to more than 200 crashes and vehicles that had traveled off the road, New Hampshire State Police said in a tweet.
States deployed teams of plows and other emergency response vehicles, including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which said it sent 1,813 pieces of equipment to respond to the storm and treat roads. The department also issued a 40 mph speed restriction on Interstate 90, which stretches through the state.
Hurricane hunters collecting storm data on both coasts
As the nor’easter swept through the Northeast and a separate atmospheric river system hit the Pacific coast, hurricane hunters with the US Air Force Reserve collected data that could improve future forecasts for the regions.
Until the last few years, forecasters had to rely solely on satellites and forecast models for forecasting atmospheric rivers, which can become very muddy, without truly knowing what’s happening inside the storms, according to CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.
But now, the hurricane hunters can fly to the storms and deploy instruments that can relay pinpointed live weather data. The data can be immediately included in weather forecast models, which improves the accuracy of the forecast dramatically.
“We’re flying missions from sea to shining sea out here,” the hurricane hunters tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s just what we do.”
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CNN’s Taylor Ward, Sara Smart, Derek Van Dam, Monica Garrett, Tina Burnside and Michelle Watson contributed to this report.