Slow-moving nor’easter hammers East Coast, kills at least eight - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Slow-moving nor’easter hammers East Coast, kills at least eight

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Thousands of people were without power and at least eight were dead Saturday after a Nor'easter blanketed the East Coast with rain and snow on Friday.

Powerful winds and rain from Georgia to New England caused heavy flooding and flight cancellations Friday, but the forecast for Saturday showed a clearer outlook for the weekend. The National Weather Service reported improving conditions "across the Northeast and northern Mid-Atlantic states" as the Nor'east er pulled away from the coast.

More than 387,000 people were still without power in Massachusetts, according to the state's Emergency Management Agency, after initial reports of 450,000 without electricity. Public Service Electric and Gas Company worked to get the lights back on for 14,700 still without power in New Jersey as of 11:30 a.m. ET.

Deadly nor'easter pounds Northeast with flooding and snow 4:02

Just hours earlier, heavy winds led to the deaths of eight people in Virginia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, authorities said.

Early Friday morning, a tree fell onto a Virginia home and killed 6-year-old Anthony Hamilton while he was sleeping, Chesterfield County Police reported. Later in the day, Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley Jr. in New York said that an unidentified 11-year-old boy died when a tree fell onto his home and trapped him underneath. His mother, who was at home with the child, was hospitalized.

Meanwhile, Newport Police in Rhode Island reported a man in his 70s died when he was struck by a wind-felled tree, Baltimore Public Safety said a 77-year-old woman was killed by a large tree branch that dropped from a tree above her, and James City County Police in Virginia said an oak tree, blown over by wind, fell and killed Shawn Gregory Walker, 44, while he was in his truck.

Later on Friday, a 57-year-old Pennsylvania man was killed after a tree fell on his vehicle, according to Upper Merion Township Police Department. Jonathan Rodriguez Melendez, a 25-year-old man in Stamford, Connecticut, was also killed after a tree struck his vehicle, according to Connecticut State Police.

On Saturday, Plympton Police Department confirmed 36-year-old Ryan MacDonald, of Plympton, Massachusetts, was killed at approximately 5:15 p.m. ET on Friday after a tree fell on his vehicle.

PHOTOS: Nor'easter hammers East Coast

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency stated that by late Friday morning, parts of the state had received eight inches of snowfall and could receive up to 18 inches of total snowfall throughout the duration of the storm. The National Weather Service said Friday night that unofficial spotter reports indicated Hampshire County in the western part of the state got 12 inches of snow.

"Concerns for coastal flooding will continue into Saturday with potential for high tide flooding," said NBC meteorologist Sherri Pugh.

"The coastal impacts will be the most important to watch as we move into the weekend as the effects will last even after the rain and snow comes to an end. Pounding waves and beach erosion are possible even into the Saturday night high tide. Coastal New Jersey, Long Island, and coastal Massachusetts are at risk of moderate flooding," she continued.

Although much of the weather had cleared Saturday, travelers still faced more than 200 cancelled flights and nearly 100 delays, according to FlightAware.com.

Amtrak, which had temporarily suspended service between Washington and Boston, resumed modified service in the Northeast corridor by Saturday morning.

In New York City, 750 trees were reportedly downed by the wind, according to Eric Phillips, Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary. The high winds and rainfall made power failures a difficult issue.

"Those two things create an environment of power outages — downed power lines and trees blocking roadways," said Steve Bellone, county executive of Suffolk County in New York.

Workers raced to turn the power back on after many states across the Northeast experienced massive power outages by Friday night. New York state reported more than 363,000 customers without power, the governor said.

PECO, Pennsylvania's largest electric company, said more than 80,000 of its customers were without power. Approximately 50,000 customers were without power in Ohio, according to OhioEdison.

Image: Coastal Storm Brings High Waters

Waves crash over a house during a large coastal storm on March 2, 2018 in Scituate, Massachusetts. Scott Eisen / Getty Images

As the winds continued to pummel the Northeast region, the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police reported that four barges attached to the Tappan Zee Bridge project came loose in the Hudson, although it was unclear if it was directly related to the storm.

Two of the vessel ran aground on the New Jersey side of the river, one sank near the Yonkers Sewer Treatment Plant and a number of commercial tugboats, the U.S. Coast Guard and the New York City Fire Department worked to secure the fourth barge, Parkway Police reported.

The storm’s impact waned in the southern part of the coast, but forecasted wind gusts of up to 70 mph still prompted building closures and delays in some areas. In Washington D.C, the Office of Personnel Management ordered that all federal offices be shuttered due to the imminent snow and wind.

Strong winds were also expected to hit the Carolinas and Georgia, with gusts as high as 40 mph possible. Minor flooding from creeks and rivers is also expected. 

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