Snow smacks Northeast; power could be out for days
SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) — Millions of people from Maine to Maryland were without power as an unseasonably early nor'easter dumped heavy, wet snow over the weekend on a region more used to gaping at leaves in October than shoveling snow.
The snow was due to stop falling in New England late Sunday, but Halloween will likely come and go before many of the more than 3 million without electricity see it restored, officials warned. Several officials referred to the combination of its early arrival and its ferocity as historic, yet another unwelcome superlative for weather-weary Northeasterners.
"You had this storm, you had Hurricane Irene, you had the flooding last spring and you had the nasty storms last winter," Tom Jacobsen said Sunday while getting coffee at a convenience store in Hamilton Township, N.J.
"I'm starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow because we've been getting spanked by her for about a year now."
The storm smashed record snowfall totals for October and worsened as it moved north. Communities in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit. Snowfall totals topped 27 inches in Plainfield, and nearby Windsor had gotten 26 inches by early Sunday. It was blamed for at least three deaths, and states of emergency were declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York.
"Look at this, look at all the damage," said Jennifer Burckson, 49, after she came outside Sunday morning in South Windsor to find a massive tree branch had smashed her car's back windshield. Trees in the neighborhood were snapped in half, with others weighed down so much that the leaves brushed the snow.
Compounding the storm's impact were still-leafy trees, which gave the snow something to hang onto and that put tremendous weight on branches, said National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro. That led to limbs breaking off and contributed to the widespread outages.
"We can't even use the snow blower because the snow is so heavy," Burckson said. [...]
Rare and deadly October storm hangs on in Northeast