BOSTON >> Power is slowly being restored along the East Coast in areas hardest-hit by a destructive nor’easter last week as forecasters predict another storm to strike midweek.
Residents from Virginia to Massachusetts faced a massive cleanup today following the storm, which was blamed for nine deaths, including two children struck by trees. The nor’easter downed trees and power lines, flooded coastal towns and forced a number of school districts to cancel classes.
Utility crews worked around the clock to restore power to the affected areas, as nearly 300,000 struggled without electricity. At the height of the storm, more than 2 million homes and businesses were without electricity.
Some coastal communities in Massachusetts are bringing in heavy equipment to clear sand, rocks, trees and other debris that were left blocking waterfront neighborhoods after last week’s storm.
Dozens of homes in Scituate were damaged by the fierce winds and high tides and, today, water still filled yards and rocks blocked streets. Quincy, just south of Boston, says it is sending trash trucks through the hard-hit neighborhoods all week to pick up storm-damaged trash.
Even as the cleanup is underway, another storm is headed to the region, albeit a much different beast.
“There’s going to be a lot more snow over a wider area,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Lenore Correia, in Taunton, Massachusetts.
The forecast is for 8 to 12 inches of snow west of Boston and south into Rhode Island and Connecticut, she said.
The food news is that the winds won’t be as strong and there is less risk of coastal flooding.
The Mid-Atlantic states will likely see some precipitation starting late Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. A winter storm watch has been issued for northern New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania.
The storm pounded the Eastern Seaboard with a combination of gusting winds, rain and snow, and coastal communities were left to deal with damaging high tide flooding as powerful waves and churning surf pounded shorelines and beachfront homes.
Nearly 100,000 utility customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island were still without electricity today, and commuter trains continued to experience delays.
Dozens of Massachusetts schools remained closed, most in coastal areas south of Boston, which bore the brunt of the storm.
In Pennsylvania, 100,000 were waiting for power to be restored as hundreds of crews worked to clear trees and repair power lines. Officials said some customers may not have service restored until at least Tuesday. At the peak of the storm, roughly 587,000 customers were without power. Some schools were closed, while others were delaying their opening.
In New Jersey, more than 75,000 were without electricity today, and it could take another day before all service is restored. The hardest hit area was northern New Jersey. Some schools were closed amid numerous downed trees and power lines and flooding.
Nearly 50,000 people in the Washington area were without power today, and some might not have service restored for a few more days. The vice president of technical solutions at Dominion Power, Kevin Curtis, tells WTOP-FM that last week’s storm was a “top five event” as far as the number of customers affected, which totaled almost 70,000 homes and businesses. He says about 25 percent of the company’s system was affected by the storm.