New England pummelled by snowstorm, NYC spared
THE projected epic storm that failed to deliver in New York City instead turned its full fury on eastern New England on Tuesday.
It unleashed howling winds that created whiteout conditions across the region and upended life on the resort island of Nantucket, where virtually everyone lost power as well as all methods of modern communications.
The 58cm of snow that had blanketed Boston by Tuesday night hoisted the storm into the ranks of the 10 worst - or best, if you were a dog frolicking alongside a skier on the Boston Common.
"This is a very severe storm," Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at a late-afternoon briefing as snow continued to bombard parts of the region at the rate of 10cm an hour. Subway service was to resume yesterday morning, but Mr Walsh said he was uncertain when a parking ban would end, and if he would extend the city's public school closings to today. Limited Amtrak service between Boston and New York was to start back up yesterday. Jury selection in the Boston Marathon bombing trial was postponed for a second day and could resume today.
The storm further isolated the island of Nantucket, where hurricane-force winds of 126kmh matched those on the top of Mount Washington, in New Hampshire, and forced the cancellation of ferries to the mainland. Almost all of Nantucket's 12,000 year-round residents lost power, but they were making do.
Flooding engulfed parts of the Atlantic coastal community of Scituate, where a car floated downtown. The Massachusetts National Guard said on Tuesday evening that soldiers had helped to evacuate residents trapped by the water there.
As the storm lost its punch in much of southern New England, it gained in force in Maine; the Maine Turnpike was closed around 8.30pm local time on Tuesday.
As the sometimes-blinding snow continued to swirl Tuesday night, forecasters were still expecting the predicted 0.6m to 0.9m in some areas. In Worcester, about 64km west of Boston, the city broke its all-time record snowfall with 85cm, beating the previous record of 84cm set in 1997.
The good news for much of New England was that the snow was light and fluffy, not the wet, heavy kind that pulls down power lines. Still, by 10pm local time on Tuesday, at least 16,500 customers in Massachusetts were without power, most of them on Cape Cod and in coastal areas.