650,000 powerless as US east coast buried under snow


New York: Over 650,000 homes and businesses in northeast America were left without power in peak winter as a massive blizzard walloped the region dumping nearly three feet of snow in some areas before heading out to sea.

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As the fury of the overnight storm abated Saturday morning, workers from New York to Boston struggled to get airports, trains and highways back online even as the US Postal Service suspended deliveries in seven states.

At least four people died in traffic accidents related to the storm in New York, Connecticut and southern Ontario, CNN reported citing authorities.

Mandatory evacuations were issued Saturday morning for Massachusetts coastal regions near the town of Hull because of flooding concerns, and high winds whipped throughout the region. Authorities also advised residents to leave shoreline areas in Marshfield and Scituate.

Forecasters said the storm is still expected to swirl across eastern New England with gusts up to 40 mph in cities that include Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts.

Some areas of Massachusetts were buried in as much as 31 inches of snow clogging roads and threatening coastlines with angry waves as the worst conditions slowly moved out of the region, Boston Herald reported citing the National Weather Service.

Spencer topped the state with 31 inches followed by Framingham with 30.5 inches, Northboro with 29.5 inches and Worcester and Somerville with 28 inches, according to the weather service. A slew of downed trees, damaged buildings and downed wires were also reported overnight through the region.

In Boston, Jamaica Plain topped with 25.5 inches, while the total at Logan International Airport was just under 22 inches. The all-time record for the city is 27.3, set in 2003.

States of emergency were declared in four states Friday. The governor of Massachusetts banned travel on all roads as night fell, an order that remained in effect Saturday.

In Connecticut, where the governor had ordered no cars on state highways Friday night, residents were told early Saturday morning to stay off all roads.

For many, the memory of Hurricane Sandy – and its terrible toll – was still fresh as they crowded supermarkets and supply stores to stock up as the storm bore down on the region, the New York Times reported.

Long lines at gas stations, and scattered reports that places were running out of fuel led Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York city to warn people not to “panic buy” gasoline.