Parts of the Northeast were buried in up to 30 inches of snow Sunday as a “historic nor’easter” released its grip on the region while bitter cold and strong winds swept across the entire East Coast.
Authorities on Long Island reported three storm-related deaths. Suffolk County police said an elderly man fell into a swimming pool while shoveling snow in Southhold and was pronounced dead after resuscitation attempts failed.
Nassau County officials said two men aged 53 and 75 died in the town of Syosset while shoveling snow.
Boston tied its record for biggest single-day snowfall on Saturday, with 23.6 inches, the National Weather Service said. Just 20 miles to the south, Stoughton, Massachusetts, recorded the most snow of the storm: 30.6 inches. Some sections of New York City were blanketed by more than foot of snow.
The storm stretched from Maine to the Carolinas. The cold reached even farther: The temperature in Tallahassee, Florida, dipped below 20 degrees for the first time in more than 10 years. The low-temperature Sunday at the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport reached 46, breaking the record for the date set more than 65 years ago.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 100% of New England was covered in snow. The average depth was 12.4 inches.
More than 100,000 lost power at the height of the storm, mostly in Massachusetts. That had dropped to about 35,000 by Sunday afternoon, mostly on hard-hit Cape Cod. No other states reported widespread outages.
Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito spoke Sunday from the state Emergency Management Agency’s “bunker” in Framingham. She urged residents to stay off roads so plows could do their work unimpeded.
“The storm delivered just what experts predicted … with 20-30 inches, they were about right,” Polito said. “If you can stay home and enjoy the day and maybe take in some football games, then do that.”
WHAT IS A NOR’EASTER? Storms can batter East Coast with snow, impact millions of people
The storm became a bomb cyclone when it rapidly strengthened, or underwent bombogenesis, between Friday and Saturday afternoon as it rolled up the East Coast, AccuWeather said.
At its peak, the storm pounded some parts of the state with up to 4 inches of snow an hour. More than 100,000 Massachusetts homes and businesses lost power, but more than half of those had power restored by Sunday afternoon. Dawn Brantley, director of the state Emergency Management Agency, said she hoped most of the power knocked out by the “historic Nor’easter” would be restored by Monday.
Brantley said National Guard members, police, firefighters and transportation workers were among those working to clean up after the storm. Accuweather Meteorologist Reed Timmer reported that gusts reached 99 mph in the Cape Cod community of Truro on Saturday.
“This was a very challenging storm, with heavy snowfall rates, strong wind gusts and very low visibility due to the whiteout conditions,” MassDOT Secretary Jamey Tesler said in urging patience during the cleanup effort.
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In New York, the National Weather Service tweeted a warning for those digging out after the storm: “The day after our big nor’easter will be mostly sunny but 10-15 degrees below normal. Wind chills will make it feel like the teens for most, so bundle up when shoveling!”
New York Mayor Eric Adams shoveled his own snow.
“You gotta do the things that make you realize what everyday New Yorkers do,” Adams said on Twitter, shovel in hand. “I’m a five borough mayor doing the five borough things of every day New Yorkers.”
The state’s biggest snowfall was recorded on Long Island at Islip Airport, with 24.7 inches.
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, along with much of the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia all faced blizzard warnings Saturday.
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The National Weather Service considers a storm a blizzard if it has snowfall or blowing snow, as well as winds of at least 35 mph that reduce visibility to a quarter-mile or less for at least three hours. In many areas, Saturday’s storm met those criteria.
Blizzard conditions were confirmed in New Jersey for Atlantic City, which measured 16 inches of snow, and Cape May, as well as the Delaware beaches, AccuWeather reported.
Providence, Rhode Island, broke a daily snow record after reporting 18.8 inches Saturday.
“I was around for the Blizzard of ’78, and this one was worse,” Joe Brescia, 72, said Sunday as he shoveled his sidewalk in nearby Warwick. “The wind was tremendous.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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