Historic October Storm Slams Tri-State, Hundreds of Thousands Without Power

It could be days before power is restored.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Heavy snow falls in Teaneck, NJ Saturday, Oct. 29. Raw video. (Published Sunday, Oct 30, 2011)

    Hundreds of thousands were still without power after a freak October storm slammed the tri-state with heavy snow and wind that snapped tree branches, downing power lines and forcing dozens of schools to cancel Monday classes.

    See the latest school closings here.

    West Milford, N.J. reported 19 inches of snow, New York's Orange County had 16 inches in Harriman and New York City had 6 inches in the Bronx and 2 in south Brooklyn, according to the National Weather Service. Armonk in Westchester had 12.5, while Milbrook in Dutchess County saw 21 inches.

    Several deaths across the Northeast are being attributed to the storm. 
    Read on for regional updates on snowfall totals, power outages and transit suspensions.
    NEW YORK CITY/NEW YORK STATE

    Snowfall in Connecticut [Raw]

    [NY] Snowfall in Connecticut [Raw]
    Heavy snow fell in Connecticut. (Published Sunday, Oct 30, 2011)

    About 2.9 inches fell in Central Park, shattering previous October snow records, both for the entire month and daily snowfall. An inch has never been recorded in October; the last two times measurable snow fell there was 1952 with half an inch, and in 1925 with eight-tenths of an inch.

    "I think Mother Nature played a trick on us," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Sunday afternoon, on the eve of Halloween.

    NJ's Bergen County Hard Hit by October Storm

    [NY] NJ's Bergen County Hard Hit by October Storm
    Bergen County was especially hard hit by the freak October storm. Jonathan Vigliotti reports live from Teaneck, N.J., where 80 percent of the township is without electricity noontime Sunday. (Published Sunday, Oct 30, 2011)

    Fallen trees, power outages and blocked roads were the main post-storm problems and points of focus for crews across the state, the governor said.

    Cuomo declared a state of emergency for 13 counties in New York, including Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster, Richmond, and Westchester counties. Staten Island  -- Richmond County -- was the only borough in New York City to be declared in a state of emergency by Cuomo.

    Widespread Power Outages in Connecticut

    [NY] Widespread Power Outages in Connecticut
    There were 794,000 Connecticut Light and Power customers without electricity Sunday morning -- that's 64 percent of that utility's customers. Ida Siegal has the latest from Greenwich, Conn., where customers are still cleaning up. (Published Sunday, Oct 30, 2011)

    New York City parks were re-opened by noon Sunday, but officials advised New Yorkers to be cautious because heavy snow was still weighing down tree limbs. Crews are continuing to work citywide to address tree damage.

    Nearly 1,000 trees in Central Park were lost in the storm, according to the Central Park Conservancy.

    Subway riders were warned to expect disruptions and delays, especially on the 6 line, while Metro-North trains were also having problems Sunday, particularly on the Upper Harlem line north of the Southeast station. Dozens of trees are blocking parts of the track there, and a couple hundred feet of the third rail were crushed, spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told NBC New York.

    Service is expected to be restored on the Upper Harlem line between Southeast and North White Plains for Monday morning. Bus service will be provided for the Wassaic branch.

    Passengers on a Harlem line Metro-North train out of Wassaic in Dutchess County were stuck for hours after they boarded sometime in the 4 p.m. hour Saturday, when trees on the tracks near Brewster blocked the train, according to a Metro-North official. The approximately 55 passengers were finally able to get off the train at about 2 a.m., when they were retrieved by State Police, MTA police and the local Brewster fire department.

    Around the state, more than 200,000 customers were without power, most in the hard-hit Hudson Valley region of the state. Consolidated Edison reported almost 71,000 customers were without power in Westchester County, with the vast majority expected to be restored by late Wednesday. The hardest-hit communities include Yonkers, Cortlandt, Greenburgh, New Castle, Mount Pleasant, and Yorktown.

    Shelters are open in Bedford at the Bedford Community Center, in Yorktown at Copper Beach Middle School and in Croton at the Municipal Building at 1 Van Wyck Street. Find out more at westchestergov.com

    Con Ed says it has about 6,500 customers without power in the Bronx and Staten Island, and expects its New York City customers to be restored by late Monday.

    In the Hudson Valley, state police evacuated motorists from numerous vehicles stuck on Interstate 84 and the Taconic Parkway overnight and took them to hotels. Police said about 50 to 75 vehicles were towed away so the highways could be plowed, and owners were being reunited with them Sunday afternoon.

    The storm is being blamed for a death in Long Island, and may have played a role in a deadly accident on the Cross Bronx Expressway.
     

    NEW JERSEY

    Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency Saturday evening.

    He is among more than 604,000 utility customers across New Jersey who lost power.

    On Sunday, New Jersey Central Power and Electric reported about 254,000 customers without power, mostly in northern New Jersey.

    Public Service Electric and Gas Company said about 268,000 of its customers were in the dark, mostly in Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Passaic and Union counties. Beyond its line crews, PSE&G has arranged for 60 crews from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to work on the project, it said.

    PSE&G warned Saturday night that power might not be fully restored until Wednesday because of the number of damaged trees and downed power lines.

    Among those operating without power was Bergen Regional Medical Center in New Jersey, which was using a generator. A spokesperson for the hospital said daily operations have not been affected.

    Teaneck, N.J., was hardest hit by outages: 80 percent of PSE&G homes were still in the dark Sunday morning, with the police station running on a generator.

    In Wayne, N.J., a man died when he struck a PSE&G utility truck parked on Hamburg Turnpike, where workers were repairing downed power lines in the early morning hours Sunday.

    NJ Transit service will remain suspended on the Morris and Essex lines through Monday due to downed trees and overhead wires.

    Montclair Rail Service remains suspended.
     

    CONNECTICUT

    More than 800,000 customers were in the dark across the state, shattering the record for a single event that was set when the remnants of Hurricane Irene hit in August.

    Gov. Malloy said Sunday morning that some could be without power for up to a week.

    The storm smashed a record for October snowfall in Connecticut, dropping 12.3 inches Saturday at Bradley International Airport, said Charlie Foley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass. The earlier measurable snowfall in the state was 1.7 inches on Oct. 10, 1979.
    Partial Metro-North train service will resume on the Waterbury branch, with trains originating at Beacon Falls and connecting with main line service at Bridgeport. Train service to Waterbury will resume as soon as the last 10 miles of tracks are cleared of fallen trees. Bus service will resume Tuesday on the Danbury branch.
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