April nor'easter with heavy, wet snow bears down on Northeast, causing more than 680,000 outages

An early spring nor'easter is hammering the Northeast with heavy snow, rain and high winds, with some northern areas expected to get up to two feet of snow

Dave Collins
Thursday 04 April 2024 15:48 BST

A major spring storm brought heavy snow, rain and high winds to the Northeast late Wednesday and Thursday, causing more than 680,000 power outages across the region with the majority in Maine and New Hampshire. A woman was reported killed by a falling tree in a New York City suburb.

Two feet of snow is possible in parts of northern New England by Thursday evening, and wind gusts are predicted to hit 50 to 60 mph (80 to 97 kph) in coastal areas as well as inland, according to the National Weather Service.

Trees and power lines were reported down across the region. More southern areas were hit mostly with rain, causing flooding in some locations.

Chris Legro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Maine, said it was the biggest April nor'easter to hit the region since 2020. He said he had to take some detours on the way into his office Thursday morning because of downed power lines.

“It’s definitely going to be one that people remember for a little while,” Legro said.

Late Wednesday afternoon, a tree fell on a vehicle in the Westchester County, New York, hamlet of Armonk, killing a woman who was the only person inside, police said.

Heavy snow made travel treacherous in northern parts of New England and New York. A crash shut down Interstate 95 northbound near Lewiston, Maine, on Thursday morning.

Dozens of flights at airports in the region were canceled or delayed. Many schools and government offices were closed in northern areas.

State government was shutdown in Maine, where a special commission investigating the October mass shooting in Lewiston had to postpone a scheduled hearing.

“We recommend that you stay off the roads if you can, but if you must travel during the storm, be sure to give plow trucks, utility crews, and emergency first responders plenty of room as they work to keep us safe,” said Maine Gov. Janet Mills.

Utilities in northern New England said they were prepared for the storm, but power restoration could still be lengthy.

“Weather conditions are going to be hazardous on Thursday, and we ask everyone to use caution on the roads," said Jon Breed, spokesperson for Central Maine Power.

Whipping winds and driving rain battered Boston. Staff at the New England Aquarium there did a sweep of the roof to make sure nothing could blow into the sea lion habitat, which is partially exposed to the outdoors. The storm caught some visitors off guard.

“I just saw the wind and the rain and I just bought this little poncho to protect myself," said Claire Saussol, who was visiting Boston from France on Wednesday. "I wasn't prepared with the warm clothes. It’s worse than the north of France! Very worse, but it’s ok. It’s a pretty city.”

Meanwhile, cleanup work continued in several states wracked by tornadoes and other severe weather blamed for at least three deaths.

Forecasters said heavy, wet snow would persist across Wisconsin and Upper Michigan into Thursday, with 6 to 10 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) overall possible in far-northern Wisconsin, 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) in Madison but just a trace in Milwaukee.

Severe weather earlier in the week knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in several other states. Tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.

Storms in northeastern Oklahoma on Tuesday unleashed three suspected tornadoes and dumped heavy rain that was blamed for the death of a 46-year-old homeless woman in Tulsa who was sheltering inside a drainage pipe.

In Pennsylvania, a woman in her 80s was killed in the Philadelphia suburb of Collegeville on Wednesday when a tree fell on her car, officials said.


Associated Press writers Bruce Shipowski in Toms River, New Jersey, and Patrick Whittle and Holly Ramer in Boston contributed to this report.

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