A rare October Nor'Easter thrashed the tri-state with heavy snow and wild wind gusts on Saturday, disrupting travel, downing trees and causing outages for more than 1 million tri-state residents.
Officials are warning it could be days before many see electricity restored.
Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency Saturday evening; half a million customers are without power in New Jersey, including Bergen Regional Medical Center, which was operating on a generator.
New York City officials, meanwhile, closed all city parks because of the combined danger of heavy snow weighing down branches in high winds. Thousands of tree branches have fallen already in Central Park, the National Weather Service said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Saturday night for 13 counties in New York, including Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster, Richmond, and Westchester counties.
Cuomo told NBC New York late Saturday that the dangerous conditions could create more hazards overnight, and that people should stay home Sunday morning.
“This is nothing to be trifled with," he said.
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.
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.
Outages were widespread.
New Jersey Central Power and Electric reported 267,000 customers without power, mostly in northern New Jersey. Public Service Electric and Gas Company said about 341,000 of its customers did not have power in the state, mostly in Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Passaic and Union counties. That utility warned that power might not be fully restored until Wednesday because of the number of damaged trees and downed power lines.
Con Edison said it had more than 78,000 customers without power.
The storm began with a chilly rain in most places, but soon began switching to snow by late Saturday morning.
The snow caused delays and cancellations at area airports, and slick conditions on roads made driving dangerous.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that weather conditions caused disruptions and delays of at least four hours at John F. Kennedy Airport, and six hours at Newark Airport. La Guardia Airport is also experiencing delays. Teterboro Airport is temporarily closed due to snow and ice conditions.
To find out about specific flights, visit the airlines page on the Port Authority website.
Subway riders are being warned to expect disruptions and delays, especially on the 6 line, while Metro-North trains are also having problems. Riders on the Port Jervis line, where the trains have been replaced with bus service after Tropical Storm Irene damaged the tracks, should also expect slowdowns.
Westbound Long Island Rail Road service between Jamaica Station and Penn Station was suspended after a tree fell across three of the four tracks at the Forest Hills station, but LIRR's trains are now again moving west.
Monitor the storm with our interactive radar.
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