Flooding, power outages hit East Coast following storm

People play on an large snow pile in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

People play on an large snow pile in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

A plow from the Brattleboro, Vt., Public Works Department removes snow on Main Street on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

A plow from the Brattleboro, Vt., Public Works Department removes snow on Main Street on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP) Kristopher Radder Brattleboro Reformer

Jasmine Soneshine, a Brattleboro, Vt., resident, shovels a section of sidewalk on Main Street in Brattleboro as the snow falls on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

Jasmine Soneshine, a Brattleboro, Vt., resident, shovels a section of sidewalk on Main Street in Brattleboro as the snow falls on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP) Kristopher Radder Brattleboro Reformer

Eli Foxley uses cross-country skis at Elmwood Park in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

Eli Foxley uses cross-country skis at Elmwood Park in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP) CHRIS MACHIAN, THE WORLD-HERALD

People stand on a large snow pile in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, as another person uses a snow blower . (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

People stand on a large snow pile in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, as another person uses a snow blower . (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

A pedestrian makes their way along 2nd Street SE as snow falls in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A winter storm brought nearly a foot of snow to much of Iowa. (Nick Rohlman/The Gazette via AP)

A pedestrian makes their way along 2nd Street SE as snow falls in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A winter storm brought nearly a foot of snow to much of Iowa. (Nick Rohlman/The Gazette via AP) Nick Rohlman

A school bus is driven along a snow-covered street during a heavy snow day in Wheeling, Ill., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A school bus is driven along a snow-covered street during a heavy snow day in Wheeling, Ill., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) Nam Y. Huh

Snow falls down outside of a grocery store in Wheeling, Ill., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Snow falls down outside of a grocery store in Wheeling, Ill., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) Nam Y. Huh

Jason Huber clears snow from his driveway, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Walford, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP)

Jason Huber clears snow from his driveway, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Walford, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP) JIM SLOSIAREK

Chris Weber takes his dog Finnigan for a walk after a winter storm moved through the region Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Leawood, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chris Weber takes his dog Finnigan for a walk after a winter storm moved through the region Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Leawood, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

Snow falls at the Iowa State Capitol Building Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, as a winter snow storm hits the state. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Snow falls at the Iowa State Capitol Building Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, as a winter snow storm hits the state. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

Omaha police and a tow truck respond to an accident on I480 in Omaha, Neb on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 in Omaha, Neb. ( Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP)

Omaha police and a tow truck respond to an accident on I480 in Omaha, Neb on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 in Omaha, Neb. ( Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP) CHRIS MACHIAN, THE WORLD-HERALD

This photo provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office shows storm damage around around Panama City Beach, Fla., in Bay County, early Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A sprawling storm has hit the South with strong thunderstorms and tornado warnings that blew roofs off homes and tossed about furniture in the Florida Panhandle and brought cities across the Midwest to a standstill with more than half of foot of snow. (Bay County Sheriff's Office via AP)

This photo provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office shows storm damage around around Panama City Beach, Fla., in Bay County, early Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A sprawling storm has hit the South with strong thunderstorms and tornado warnings that blew roofs off homes and tossed about furniture in the Florida Panhandle and brought cities across the Midwest to a standstill with more than half of foot of snow. (Bay County Sheriff's Office via AP) Bay County

This photo provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office shows storm damage around around Panama City Beach, Fla., in Bay County, early Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A sprawling storm has hit the South with strong thunderstorms and tornado warnings that blew roofs off homes and tossed about furniture in the Florida Panhandle and brought cities across the Midwest to a standstill with more than half of foot of snow. (Bay County Sheriff's Office via AP)

This photo provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office shows storm damage around around Panama City Beach, Fla., in Bay County, early Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A sprawling storm has hit the South with strong thunderstorms and tornado warnings that blew roofs off homes and tossed about furniture in the Florida Panhandle and brought cities across the Midwest to a standstill with more than half of foot of snow. (Bay County Sheriff's Office via AP) Bay County

This photo provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office shows storm damage around around Panama City Beach, Fla., in Bay County, early Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A sprawling storm has hit the South with strong thunderstorms and tornado warnings that blew roofs off homes and tossed about furniture in the Florida Panhandle and brought cities across the Midwest to a standstill with more than half of foot of snow. (Bay County Sheriff's Office via AP)

This photo provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office shows storm damage around around Panama City Beach, Fla., in Bay County, early Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. A sprawling storm has hit the South with strong thunderstorms and tornado warnings that blew roofs off homes and tossed about furniture in the Florida Panhandle and brought cities across the Midwest to a standstill with more than half of foot of snow. (Bay County Sheriff's Office via AP) Bay County

By KATHY McCORMACK and SCOTT McFETRIDGE

Associated Press

Published: 01-10-2024 11:09 AM

CONCORD, N.H. — A major storm drenched the Northeast and slammed it with fierce winds, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands following a bout of violent weather that struck most of the U.S.

The storm, which started Tuesday night and was moving out Wednesday, washed out roads and took down trees and power lines. Wind gusts reached 45 mph to 55 mph (72 kph to 88 kph) and more windy weather was expected throughout Wednesday.

It followed a day of tornadoes and deadly accidents in the South and blizzards in the Midwest and Northwest.

Here’s how various areas are being affected by the storms:

New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm. Many streets and roads were flooded and rivers were rising after some areas got up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain since Tuesday night.

Lou DeFazio, 65, of Manville, New Jersey, lives steps away from the Millstone River that flooded disastrously in 2021 after the remnants of Ida slammed into the state and swerved riverbanks. He said the river was expected to crest later Wednesday.

“It’s getting worse and worse,” he said.

New York

Even before high tide Wednesday morning, parts of Long Island’s southern shore were already inundated by coastal flooding.

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In Nassau County, video showed cars sloshing through water that had collected on the streets of Freeport. Further east, near the Hamptons, the National Weather Service reported major flooding out of Shinnecock Bay. Several schools across Long Island were either canceling or delaying classes as a result of the storm.

New York City officials evacuated nearly 2,000 migrants housed at a sprawling tent complex before the storm hit amid fears that the facility could collapse in heavy winds.

Photos showed the migrant families sleeping on the floor of a Brooklyn high school, whose students were forced to go remote on Wednesday as a result of the brief relocation. The migrants returned to the tent facility at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday after the winds had subsided, officials said.

New England

In Danbury, Connecticut, officials said the snow that melted in the overnight rain had overwhelmed the city’s drainage capacity, leaving a dozen intersections flooded. At least one motorist was rescued from a vehicle.

Fire officials in Bozrah, Connecticut, said no rescue efforts have been needed due to a reported break in the Fitchville Dam. Local and state authorities were monitoring the dam.

Norwich Public Utilities, a local electricity provider, said it had to take a power substation offline to avoid damage from flooding from the dam break. The company said about 5,000 homes and businesses were without power as a result.

The storm canceled numerous events and government functions in Maine, where some areas were still recovering from a major snowstorm over the weekend and flooding the previous month.

Powerful winds gusted to 95 mph (153 kph) at Maine’s Isle au Haut, an island in Penobscot Bay, and to 83 mph (134 kph) off the coast of Rye New, Hampshire, said Jon Palmer from the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses were in the dark, mostly in coastal areas that were lashed by wind and rain. Farther inland, heavy wet snow blanketed the region.

Flash flood warnings were issued. Maine Gov. Janet Mills encouraged residents to stay off the roads if they could.

“Please be sure to give plow trucks, utility crews, and emergency first responders plenty of space as they work to keep us safe,” she said.

In Vermont, the storm brought wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour and heaving wet snow, followed by rain, leaving nearly 30,000 homes without power Wednesday morning. Many schools were closed or had delayed openings.

Midwest

Slushy highways led to the deaths of a driver in Wisconsin and another in Michigan following collisions.

The storm, which began Monday, buried cities across the Midwest in snow, stranding people on highways. Some areas saw up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow on Monday, including Kansas, eastern Nebraska and South Dakota, western Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota.

Madison, Wisconsin, was under a winter storm warning until early Wednesday, with as much as 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow and 40 mph (64 kph) winds on tap.

The weather has already affected campaigning for Iowa’s Jan. 15 precinct caucuses, where the snow is expected to be followed by frigid temperatures that could drift below zero degrees (minus 18 Celsius).

Forecasters warned snow-struck regions of the Midwest and the Great Plains that temperatures could plunge dangerously low because of wind chill, dipping to around minus 20 (29 Celsius) and even far lower in Chicago, Kansas City and some areas of Montana.

South

Several deaths have been blamed on storms that struck the area with heavy rain, tornado reports, hail and wind.

An 81-year-old woman in Alabama was killed when her mobile home was tossed from its foundation by a suspected tornado. Another person died in North Carolina after a suspected tornado struck a mobile home park. A man died south of Atlanta when a tree fell on his car.

The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee, Florida, planned to send out three tornado survey teams on Wednesday to examine suspected tornado damage in Walton, Bay and Jackson counties in Florida, and two more on Thursday to look at Houston County, Alabama, and Calhoun County, Georgia.

Roofs were blown off homes, furniture, fences and debris were strewn about during the height of the storm in the South.

Many areas of Florida remained under flood watches, warnings and advisories early Wednesday amid concerns that streams and rivers were topping their banks. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who gave his State of the State address Tuesday as tornado warnings were active outside the Capitol, issued an executive order to include 49 counties in North Florida under a state of emergency.

Pacific Northwest

A blizzard pounded Washington and Oregon mountains on Tuesday, knocking out power and prompting the closure of highways and ski resorts.

At one point, some 150,000 customers in those states were without electricity, although that was down to under 20,000 by Wednesday morning.