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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press A man crosses the street Wednesday in Hoboken, N.J. Roads were closed, flights were canceled and power was lost along the East Coast, where some have been in the dark since last week's storm.

Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:00 am

Thundersnow hits East

Region still reeling from last week's storm

Associated Press

NEW YORK – For the second time in less than a week, a storm rolled into the Northeast with wet, heavy snow Wednesday, grounding flights, closing schools and bringing another round of power outages to a corner of the country still recovering from the previous blast of winter.

The nor'easter knocked out electricity to tens of thousands of customers and produced “thundersnow” as it made its way up the coast, with flashes of lightning and booming thunder from the Philadelphia area to New York City. A New Jersey middle school teacher was struck by lightning but survived.

Officials urged people to stay off the roads.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning into this morning from the Philadelphia area through most of New England. More than 2,600 flights across the region – about 1,900 in the New York metro area alone – were canceled.

It wasn't much better on the ground, with Pennsylvania and New York banning big rigs from some major highways and transit agencies reducing or canceling service on trains and buses.

The storm wasn't predicted to be as severe as the nor'easter that toppled trees, inundated coastal communities and caused more than 2 million power outages from Virginia to Maine last Friday.

But it still proved to be a headache for the tens of thousands of customers still in the dark from the earlier storm – and for the crews trying to restore power to them.

PECO, Pennsylvania's largest electric utility, reported more than 100,000 customers without power by evening, some left over from last week.

The storm unloaded snow at a rate of 2 or 3 inches an hour, with some places in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut getting up to 16 inches by evening. Gusts up to 60 mph were forecast on Cape Cod.

“I don't think I'm ready for this to happen again,” Caprice Dantzler said as she walked through Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square. She said many trees that crashed into cars and homes and blocked streets during the last storm had yet to be removed.

At the World Trade Center memorial, Juan Escobar, visiting from Cali, Colombia, with his wife, Daniela, snapped a selfie in front of one of the reflecting pools. Escobar said it was the second time in his life he had seen snow.

“It's awesome!” he said. “We are cold as hell, but we are happy.”

In New Jersey, a volunteer firefighter used the snow to save a house from major fire damage.

Stillwater firefighter Joe McAllister didn't have any firefighting equipment when he got to the house, so he improvised, grabbing a shovel and tossing snow onto the fire, according to McAllister knocked down most of the flames by the time other firefighters arrived.