As the northeast floods the east coast, thousands of people have lost power and high winds threaten further blackouts

More than 275,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, according to PowerOutage.US.

“With the soil saturated and full of leaves, power outages caused by felled trees are cause for concern until Wednesday,” CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Boston’s National Weather Service is urging those living along the Massachusetts coast to stay indoors and stay out of windows, as wind gusts are expected to reach 85 mph until 7 a.m.

Eastern Massachusetts could see up to two more inches of rain over the next 36 hours, Guy said early Wednesday. He added that the winds are expected to subside by Wednesday evening.

The storm, which was is expected to provide about 2-6 inches of rain in a short period of time over several states, led the governors of New Jersey and New York to declare a state of emergency in advance, just weeks after Hurricane Ida caused severe flooding in early September.
Up to 5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of New Jersey by 11 a.m. ET, inundating some roads, creeks and streams, the The national weather service said.

New York and New Jersey had some breathing space from the heavy afternoon rains, but another band of precipitation was unfolding and the rain is expected to increase in the evening. The latest precipitation is not expected to be as heavy as previous totals, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

The New York Weather Services Bureau said Central Park recorded 2.7 inches at 1 p.m. and more than 2.6 inches fell at Islip on Long Island.

In Union Beach, New Jersey, south of New York City, floodwaters trapped some vehicles and rescuers carried out more than a dozen water rescues from Monday night to Tuesday morning, the police chief said. from Union Beach, Michael Woodrow. No injuries were reported there.

Gov. Phil Murphy has delayed opening state government offices until 11 a.m. to give workers plenty of time to arrive.

“If you are on our roads and come across a section of flooded, please just turn around – don’t go. Unfortunately we lost too many people in Ida who went ahead,” Murphy said. to journalists Tuesday morning.
LIVE UPDATES: Nor’easter, East Coast, California
A flash flood emergency was issued Tuesday afternoon for two towns in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Moravia and Locke, with record flooding expected at the southern end of Lake Owasco, on National Weather Service at Binghamton noted.

The gauge at Moravia reached 10.56 feet and is expected to peak at nearly 11 feet on Tuesday night before receding, the weather service said. He urged people to immediately move to higher ground.

Flooding has also been reported on roads in Delaware, Otsego and Sullivan counties in New York City, the the weather service said.

Flash flood warnings and watches were in effect Tuesday for other parts of New York City as well as southern New England, with rain expected Tuesday night or early Wednesday. There were also flash flood warnings in northeastern Pennsylvania, southern Connecticut, and northeastern New Jersey.

Extreme winds should cut power

Destructive winds are expected to bring down trees and power lines in some areas. A strong wind warning was in place for parts of Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

New Jersey and New York declare states of emergency ahead of northeast

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

Winds of 60 mph were recorded in Norwalk, Connecticut on Tuesday morning. Suffolk County in New York has seen winds reaching 52 mph.

The system was strengthening further early Tuesday afternoon, CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said.

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

In Suffolk County, the rain was at times heavy enough to obscure the visibility of drivers in the morning, and more than 20 vehicle crashes have occurred there in the first 11 hours of the day, the county manager said , Steven Bellone.

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

Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy supplier, warned tens of thousands of customers could lose power during the storm as the northeast early in the season has a larger risk to power lines because the leaves are still on the trees.

“When trees still have most of their leaves, the risk of blackouts caused by trees with a northeast is much higher,” said Sean Redding, an Eversource vegetation management manager. “Heavy with rain, the leaves act like a sail, causing the tree to bend in the wind.”

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

Typically in parts of the northeast, “there will be winds on land; there will be waves on land – 8 to 12 feet high,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Tuesday morning.

A barricade blocks access to a rain-flooded road in Branchburg, New Jersey on Tuesday.

What is a nor’Easter?

A nor’easter is a storm along the east coast with winds generally coming from the northeast, according to the national meteorological service. Storms can occur at any time of the year but are more frequent between September and April.

In winter, temperatures associated with a northeast can be much more extreme than in fall, which can lead to more intense storms and snowfall. Storms can erode beaches and harsh ocean conditions, with winds of 58 mph or more.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the New York City subway and other transit lines, expected several inches of rain over 12 hours, but nothing to do with Hurricane Ida, which caused severe flooding in the region in early September.

“At no point do we expect to see the type of very short-term heavy rain that we had during Hurricane Ida,” MTA interim president and CEO Janno Lieber said, noting that the city has saw over 3.5 inches in an hour during Ida.

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

The biggest problem and strain the MTA faces is the city’s sewers, which can be submerged as they were during Ida, Lieber said, but they didn’t expect this 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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