Winter storm lashes East Coast with deep snow, high winds


A storm with wind gusts near hurricane force lashed the Northeast on Saturday, dropping heavy snow, causing coastal flooding and threatening widespread power outages while forecasters warned conditions would worsen and then be followed by bitter cold.

The nor’easter thrashed parts of 10 states and some major population centers, including Philadelphia, New York and Boston. By midday, more than 18 inches (45 centimeters) of snow had fallen on parts of New Jersey’s shore and eastern Long Island.

Areas closest to the Atlantic coast bore the brunt. Boston, in the nor’easter’s crosshairs, could get more than 2 feet (61 centimeters) of snow. Winds gusted at 70 mph (113 kph) or higher at several spots in Massachusetts, including Nantucket Island and Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod.

Most flights into and out of the airports serving New York, Boston and Philadelphia were canceled Sat-urday, according to FlightAware. More than 4,500 flights were canceled across the US Amtrak can-celed all its high-speed Acela trains between Boston and Washington and canceled or limited other ser-vice.

Across the region, residents hunkered down to avoid whiteout conditions and stinging snow hurled by fierce winds. Business closed or opened late.

In suburban Boston, a bundled-up Nicky Brown, 34, stood at the doors of Gordon’s liquor store in Waltham, waiting for it to open.

“My boyfriend is out driving a plow, and I had a bunch of cleaning to do at home, and I want a drink while I’m doing it,” she said, as she called the store to find out if it planned to open at all. “It’s a good day to stay inside and clean.”

Video on social media showed wind and waves battering North Weymouth, south of Boston, flood-ing streets with a slurry of frigid water. Other video showed a street underwater on Nantucket and waves crashing against the windows of a building in Ply-mouth.

In the seaside town of Newburyport, near the New Hampshire border, officials encouraged residents along the shore to move to higher ground.Over 100,000 homes and businesses lost power in Massachusetts, with failures mounting. No other states reported widespread outages.

The storm had two saving graces: Dry snow less capable of snapping trees and tearing down power lines, and its timing on a weekend, when schools were closed and few people were commuting.—AN

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