Thursday, December 2

Thousands without power as a nor’easter soaks the east

(CNN) — Thousands of people in New England are waking up in the dark Wednesday and strong winds are expected to continue a day after heavy rains from a Nor’easter storm flooded parts of the Northeast.

More than 132,000 customers in Massachusetts were without power Wednesday morning, according to PowerOutage.US.

“With the ground saturated and full of leaves, power outages from downed trees are the concern through Wednesday,” said CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.

The National Weather Service in Boston is urging those who live along the coast to stay indoors and stay away from windows, as wind gusts are expected to reach up to 84 miles per hour until 7 p.m. morning.

Eastern Massachusetts could see up to an additional 50 millimeters of rain in the next 36 hours, Guy said early Wednesday. He added that the winds are expected to subside for the night.

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The storm, which was expected to drop between 127 and 152 millimeters of rain in a short time in several states, prompted the governors of New Jersey and New York to declare a state of emergency in advance, just weeks after Hurricane Ida it will leave serious floods there in early September.

Up to 127mm of rain had fallen in parts of New Jersey by 11 a.m. ET Tuesday, flooding some highways, streams and creeks, the said National Metereological Service.

The weather service office in New York City said Central Park had logged 68mm as of 1 p.m. and more than 66mm had fallen at Islip on Long Island.

At Union Beach in New Jersey, south of New York City, the waters caught some vehicles, and emergency workers performed more than a dozen rescues in the water between Monday and Tuesday, the police chief said. from Union Beach, Michael Woodrow. There were no injuries.

Governor Phil Murphy delayed the opening of state government offices until 11 a.m. so that workers would have time to arrive.

“If you are on our roads and you come across a flooded section, please just turn around, don’t move on. Unfortunately, we have lost too many people in Ida who went ahead,” Murphy told reporters Tuesday morning. .

A flash flood emergency was issued Tuesday afternoon for two towns in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Moravia and Locke, as record flooding is expected at the southern end of Lake Owasco, said the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

The weather service indicated that the level in Moravia reached 3.5 meters and that the ridge was expected to approach 3.5 meters on Tuesday night before it decreased. People were urged to move immediately to higher ground.

Flooding was also reported on the roads in New York’s Delaware, Otsego and Sullivan counties, according to the weather service.

Flash flood warnings and advisories were in effect Tuesday for other parts of New York, along with southern New England, and rain was expected through Tuesday night or early Wednesday. There were also flash flood warnings in northeast Pennsylvania, southern Connecticut, and northeast New Jersey.

Extreme winds are expected to cut off power

Damaging winds are expected to bring down trees and power lines in some areas. A high wind advisory was in effect for parts of Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

The strongest winds in New York were expected to be Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning.

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Winds of nearly 100 kilometers per hour were recorded in Norwalk, Connecticut, Tuesday morning. In the New York county of Suffolk winds of 83 km / h were registered.

The system was still going strong as of early afternoon Tuesday, CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said.

“The winds are going to be stronger (and) there is going to be more rain for some people,” Sater said around 2 p.m. ET.

In Suffolk County, the rain was strong enough at times to obscure the visibility of drivers in the morning, and more than 20 vehicle accidents occurred there in the first 11 hours of the day, said County Executive Director Steven Bellone.

Power outages could accumulate later in the day as the winds pick up, Bellone said.

Eversource Energy, New England’s largest power provider, warned that tens of thousands of customers could be left without power during the storm, as early-season nor’easters pose a higher risk to power lines because the leaves are still out. in the trees.

“When trees still have most of their leaves, the risk of tree cuttings is much higher,” according to Sean Redding, Eversource vegetation management officer.

“Loaded by rain, the leaves act like a sail, causing the tree to bend in the wind,” he warned.

In Boston, winds are expected to pick up as Tuesday progresses, with the strongest winds overnight Tuesday through Wednesday. Conditions there will slowly improve late in the morning this Wednesday, with some impacts lasting into the night.

In general, in some parts of the northeast, “there will be winds off the coast; there will be waves off the coast, 8 to 12 feet high,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Tuesday morning.

What is a nor’easter?

A nor’easter It is a storm on the east coast with winds that usually come from the northeast, according to the National Metereological Service. These storms can occur at any time of the year, but are most common between September and April.

In winter, the temperatures associated with a nor’easter they can be much more extreme than in the fall, which can lead to more intense storms and snow. The storms can cause the erosion of the beaches and the bad state of the sea, with winds of 93 km / h or more.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the New York subway and other transportation lines, expected several millimeters of rain in 12 hours, but nothing like Hurricane Ida, which caused severe flooding in the region in early September.

“At no point do we expect to see the kind of heavy rain in a very short time that we had during Hurricane Ida,” said MTA President and Acting CEO Janno Lieber, noting that the city saw more than 89mm in a hour during Ida.

“But we are prepared for whatever comes next,” Lieber added.

The biggest problem and limitation facing the MTA is the city’s sewer system, which can be overflowed as it did during Ida, Lieber said, but they didn’t expect it to be a problem during the storm.

CNN’s Laura Ly, Steve Almasy, Brandon Miller, Judson Jones, Sahar Akbarzai, Joe Sutton, and Alex Harring contributed to this report.

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