Historic Blizzard Hits Northeast, Disrupting Traffic and Flights

A powerful blizzard hit the northeastern United States on Saturday, leaving about 700,000 homes and businesses without power and shutting down travel.

A record-breaking storm across the Northeast left the New York-to-Boston corridor shrouded in 1 to 3 feet of snow Saturday. Photo: Mark Sardella/Flickr

Strong winds were blamed for four deaths in New York state and Canada. More than 5,000 flights were cancelled and drivers stranded in their cars on a Long Island highway were given refuge in a local supermarket, reports The Telegraph.

However, in the two biggest cities of the region, the authorities are thankful to god that they were not hit worse.

For example, in Boston snow blanketed 21 inches, and was falling quite for a long time but the heaviest phase of the storm was over. Eight inches were recorded on Central Park in Manhattan and 11 inches in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

The town of Gorham, Maine, was covered with 33 inches of snow, and Philip Gagnon, chairman of the town council, announced that many roads would not be cleared until late Sunday.

“We’ve had our crews out since yesterday morning,” he said. “It’s going to probably take some time because they can only do so much before we can rest them,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Hamden, Connecticut, the level of snow reached 34 inches and much of the state received more than two foot of snow.

The highest fall of the storm was recorded in Milford, Connecticut, with 38 inches of snow fallen by mid-morning. Central Park passed 11 inches and Stony Brook on Long Island was buried under 27 inches.

Flooding has become the main problem in the coastal regions. The possibility led to the evacuation of two neighborhoods in Quincy, Mass., south of Boston, and of 20 to 30 people in oceanfront homes in Salisbury, in northeastern Massachusetts.

As The Huffington Post writes, the Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery Saturday in New England.

“This is crazy. I mean it’s just nuts,” Eileen O’Brien said in Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, as she cleared heavy snow from her deck for fear it might collapse.

As the pirate flag outside the woman’s door snapped and popped in gale-force winds Saturday.

She said: “My thermostat keeps dropping. Right now it’s 54 inside, and I don’t have any wood. There’s nothing I can do to keep warm except maybe start the grill and make some coffee.”

In South Windsor, Connecticut, Bill Tsoronis had to use a snowblower to carve paths heavily covered with snow in his neighborhood.

“I thought we might have 18 or 20 inches, but in some places it’s up to my waist. It’s more than I expected,” he said.

He went on, adding that the storm was not much more than a nuisance, since electricity in the neighborhood wasn’t cut, and he said he might gather with neighbors for cocktails later in the day.

His neighbor Mike Schroder said as he brushed snow off cars in his driveway that the storm lived up to the hype.

“This is finally one they got right,” he said. He said the cleanup will take some time: “When the snow is higher than the snowblower, you’re in trouble.”

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