New York

Nor'easter Grinds Tri-State to Halt, Kills at Least 1 in NY

A high wind warning is in effect for all of NYC and Long Island, as well as parts of the Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Connecticut; hundreds of flights have been canceled

What to Know

  • A powerful nor'easter punished the tri-state with heavy rain, snow, wind Friday, bringing the region's transit systems to a near standstill
  • An 11-year-old boy is the only reported fatality in the storm; At least one person was also injured by falling debris
  • Skies are expected to clear up by Sunday. Temperatures stay cooler, in the mid-40s, into the early part of next week

A fierce nor'easter that pummeled the tri-state with everything from heavy snow to 70 mph winds and flooding downpours left at least one child dead, damaged countless homes and caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of commuters and power customers.

The wintry weather made a mess of the region's vast transportation networks, bringing some of the nation's busiest roadways, rail systems and airports to a stop, thanks in large part to powerful winds that swept across the region.

Amtrak opted to cancel all trains in and out of New York on the vital Northeast Corridor line through Saturday morning, while the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and New Jersey Transit all experienced significant delays and suspensions that persisted late into the evening. Rush-hour delays led to massive overcrowding at Penn Station at the height of the rush, and in some cases tripled the length of normal Friday afternoon commutes.

Air travel, likewise, was all but stopped Friday, as the region's three airports saw a total of more than 1,600 cancellations. 

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Meanwhile, flooded roads created nightmares for drivers and residents, particularly along the Jersey shore -- including Keyport, along the Raritan Bay, and in Neptune -- and on Long Island's south shore, including Babylon and Bay Shore. More than 2 1/2 inches of rain had fallen in parts of Nassau County by 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, and authorities are concerned about additional flooding on high tides Friday night and Saturday. 

News 4 NY
A tree down on a mail truck in Rye, New York

Accidents were being reported across roads in the tri-state, and cars were stalling out in floodwaters. Gov. Cuomo issued a travel advisory for all areas north of the city, and tractor-trailer, bus and motorcycle drivers are being urged to stay off bridges. Several tractor-trailers were blown about on the Mario Cuomo and Verrazano bridges, including one that was caught on camera with just two wheels on the road. Major Travel Changes Are in Effect; Here's What You Need to Know

And once people were able to get home, they might have come home to dark houses. Gov. Cuomo said that more than 363,000 customers in the Empire State lost power at some point on Friday, while utilities in New Jersey and Connecticut reported more than 200,000 customers without power Friday night. 
NYS Thruway Authority
Overturned tractor trailer on Mario Cuomo Bridge

Authorities blamed the death of an 11-year-old boy in Putnam County on the nor'easter after winds caused a tree to crash down onto his home. The storm was also blamed for at least four other deaths from Virginia to Rhode Island.

At least one other person was struck by a falling tree in Queens, but wasn't seriously injured. 

Trees, power lines and at least one scaffolding were also toppled by violent winds through the afternoon during the storm. Firefighters responded to a scaffolding collapse on the Lower East Side, and there were numerous emergency calls for downed trees on roads, homes, cars and subway and rail tracks across the tri-state. 

While the city and immediate surrounding areas saw less than one inch of snow, the white stuff quickly piled up north and west of the city, especially in higher elevations in the Catskill and Pocono mountain ranges. Phonecia, New York, topped the region's snow totals with 20 inches of powder, while several towns in Ulster and Dutchess counties saw more than a foot of snow. In New Jersey, West Milford saw 8.3 inches of snow. 

Intense storm gusts sent water crashing over sea walls and made it hard for people to walk outdoors Friday. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

Vicious wind gusts topped top 60 mph at John F. Kennedy International Airport and along parts of Long Island as the storm system hovered over the region through Friday, according to Storm Team 4.  A high wind warning remains in effect for all of New York City, Long Island and Westchester County in New York; Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey; and Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut. Winds were expected to peak in the afternoon and evening as a wintry mix moves closer to the coast. Click here to see the latest weather alerts in your neighborhood.

Storm Team 4 Breaks Down Expectations for Powerful Nor'easter

Widespread flood warnings, watches and advisories remain in effect for much of the tri-state area through the weekend, as swollen high tides risk coming ashore.

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If there's a silver lining to the monster storm, its that the skies will begin to clear Saturday. Storm Team 4 says temperatures will remain cooler through the start of the workweek, but the region will see conditions dry out.

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