Trees still loaded with leaves in New England snapped under the burdens of heavy snow and wind, taking down power lines and blocking roads.
The "bull's-eye" of the storm was not what one might think of as traditional nor'easter territory: eastern Pennsylvania. But the storm shattered snowfall records and took down power lines along the eastern seaboard, from Maryland to Massachusetts, the Associated Press reported. Nearly 1.5 inches of snow fell in Central Park in New York City, while West Milford, N.J., to the northwest, was hit with 15.5 inches. Interstate 84, the cross-state route through Connecticut into upstate New York, was closed near the state line Sunday morning because of downed trees.
The storm will now pose the same problem that government officials and public utility executives faced only 10 weeks ago, after Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene. How to manage public expectations and maintain public safety as they scramble to restore electric service to residences and businesses.
The AP reported more than 2.7 million customers were without power on Sunday morning. More than 750,000 lack power in Connecticut, breaking the record for a single storm that the state just set in August, after Irene. About 650,000 are out of power in Massachusetts.
The New York Times quoted one local official trying to empathize with constituents, in this case a frustrated group of trick or treaters in Washington.
“I know it’s cold here; you guys doing all right?” he asked. “It’s not ideal out here.”
The paper didn't report if the official, President Barack Obama, had much luck in lifting their spirits.
Updated: Among the least happy must have been the passengers who were stranded on Fort Lauderdale-to-Newark Jet Blue flight that was diverted to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut. They were stuck on the plane for seven hours, with no food and water, ABC News and others reported.
If that sounds not only terrible but familiar, that could be because something very similar happened at Bradley last year. A London-to-Newark Virgin Atlantic flight was diverted to Bradley in June 2010 and sat on the tarmac for more than four hours, as passengers grew increasingly distressed by the heat.