Powerful East Coast storm kills 9, triggers coastal flooding and leaves millions without power

Michael Livingston, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

A powerful winter storm that pummeled the Northeast, killing at least nine and leaving 2 million homes and businesses without power, unleashed heavy rain and snow but inflicted its deadliest damage with fierce winds.

The death toll had stood at eight until Saturday night, when police in Andover, N.J., reported that a man was killed after coming in contact with downed power lines.

Four people died when winds toppled trees onto vehicles; those killed were a 57-year-old man in Upper Merion Township, Pa.; a 25-year-old man in Stamford, Conn.; a 37-year-old man in Plympton, Mass.; and an 11-year-old boy in Putnam Valley, N.Y.

In Chester, Va., a 6-year-old boy died when a tree crushed him while he slept in his bed.

"This storm was a high-end wind event for the East Coast. There were power outages from the wind alone," said Walter Drag, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Jersey.

In Sussex County, N.J., "some people won't be getting power until March 7, maybe as late as the 9th," Drag said.

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It's the most wind damage seen on the East Coast since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, he said.

In Massachusetts, the main concern was flooding.

On Friday, wind gusts whipped through Massachusetts and Rhode Island as fast as 93 mph, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Lenore Correia in Boston. Streets in Boston and the nearby suburb of Quincy looked like rivers. Authorities rescued hundreds of people who either ignored or delayed in heeding evacuation notices.

Some flocked to hotels, like the Comfort Inn in Quincy, where general manager Homer Borromeo said they have been at full capacity since Friday.


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