Thousands Blacked Out After East Coast Storms
More than 350,000 customers were without electricity Sunday from North Carolina to Maine after a night of violent weather that included wind gusting to 81 mph, thunderstorms and snow.
``We had lightning while it was snowing,″ said George Stein, a spokesman for Potomac Edison Co. in West Virginia.
The stormy weather broke out along a cold front that pushed eastward through the region, followed by some of the arctic air that has dropped temperatures into the single digits and lower across the Upper Midwest.
Record lows Sunday included 15 at South Bend, Ind.; 19 at Jackson, Ky.; 16 at Cincinnati, and a record-tying 41 at Melbourne, Fla. In the core of the cold-air mass, Ely, Minn., had a Sunday morning low of 18 below zero.
The northern end of the cold front continued producing stormy weather Sunday in northern Maine. The southern end of the front had touched off violent storms Saturday in Florida.
The electrical outages were caused by fallen trees and utility poles.
``Trees down over cars, trees down over houses and trees down over power lines,″ Gregory Hostetter, a sheriff’s dispatcher in Rockbridge County, Va., said late Saturday.
But the wind wasn’t the only problem. In West Virginia, some trees toppled because Halloween vandals had sawed halfway through their trunks, said Jack Shaver, a spokesman for Appalachian Power Co.
Wind gusted to 81 mph at Cambridge, Vt., and Boston; 76 mph at Bath, Maine; 70 mph at Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, and 65 mph at Ocean City, Md. Wind up to 60 mph in southern West Virginia ripped the roof off a mobile home; one woman inside suffered a broken leg.
Flooding closed some roads in parts of Maine and New Hampshire. Flood warnings were posted Sunday for parts of New Hampshire, Maine and New Jersey.
Up to 4 inches of snow fell in the mountains of West Virginia and about an inch of snow fell across Maryland. Up to 7 inches fell in upstate New York.
In Florida, about 6,000 people attending a religious service at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center ran for shelter in the basement Saturday when high wind tore a 50-foot hole in the roof.
The most wide-spread electrical outages remaining Sunday were in Connecticut, where Northeast Utilities had about 128,000 customers still without power Sunday, said spokesman Emmanuel Forde.
Some customers won’t be restored until Tuesday, Forde said.
In Maine, Central Maine Power Co. said 70,000 customers still had no power Sunday. In addition, Bangor Hydro-Electric said 45,000 customers experienced intermittent blackouts Sunday.
Remaining outage estimates elsewhere as of midday Sunday included 63,000 in Maryland; 35,000 in New Jersey; 36,000 in New Hampshire; 14,000 in North Carolina; 8,000 in Massachusetts; 8,000 in Vermont; 8,600 in Virginia, and 4,000 in Pennsylvania.