US Northeast still facing flooding, outages after killer storm

The stunning stats on the nor'easter that could morph into a bomb cyclone

At the height of the storm Friday, approximately 150,000 National Grid customers in Rhode Island had lost power, according to company spokesman Ted Kresse. Twitter users took pictures and video of the flooding in Boston.

"Take this storm seriously!"

Based on a 24-hour pressure change of 114 millibars to 987 millibars, the powerful storm slamming the Northeast officially underwent bombogenesis, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

The problems carried over into Saturday, with hundreds of flights canceled into and out of NY and Boston, according to the website. That flooding was helped by the tides brought by a nearly-full moon, adding an additional couple of feet to the water line at high tide.

The storm is moving slowly, and the wind, rain and flood effects will linger for days.

The commuter system Metro-North said service in parts of CT and Long Island, New York, remain suspended Saturday due to fallen utility poles and trees. At its peak, winds had knocked out power to more than 2 million people, including more than 400,000 in MA and 320,000 across NY.

The Boston branch of the National Weather Service warned of major coastal flooding and beach erosion Friday night.

MA emergency officials said tides "will be astronomically high" in the next few days.

Boston Harbor, which has only seen tides above 15 feet twice - in 1978 and in January, during the last bomb cyclone - is expected to see the tide at that level three times during this storm, Jones said.

Winter Storm Riley dropped more than a foot (30.5 centimeters) of snow in the western and northern parts of NY state, as heavy rain lashed coastal areas. "Inland flooding from the excessive rainfall and coastal flooding from high seas/storm surge will impact much of the area from New Jersey to MA", the NWS said.

"Those two things create an environment of power outages - downed power lines and trees blocking roadways", said Steve Bellone, county executive of Suffolk County in NY.

With the worst over by Saturday, people from ME to Georgia emerged from homes to take stock of damage from a storm that could be more destructive than the rapidly intensifying "bomb cyclone" that struck the Eastern Seaboard two months ago.

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"Snowfall amounts of 12 to 18 inches are expected in NY, with even higher values in central NY", the National Weather Service tweeted.

Snow will mix with the rain Friday afternoon and evening, but no accumulation is expected.

Hurricane-force wind gusts and flooding pose the biggest dangers along the coast, Jones said.

And the winds in eastern MA will be ferocious.

Winds will be so ferocious that the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey is securing cranes at a LaGuardia Airport construction project.

The heavy winds are expected to batter the coasts and inland mountain regions, knocking down trees and power lines.

Winds are expected to reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Motorists have also become stranded along the East Coast, and federal government offices in Washington DC have been closed.

The nor'easter's reach extended from ME to North Carolina, where the state's Outer Banks received storm and flood warnings.

Residents in several New England area states also braced for more flooding during high tides Saturday, though forecasters said the worst of the storm was over for most areas and that the system had moved hundreds of miles out to sea.

Airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights, mostly in the Northeast.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he's called in the National Guard and urged vigilance.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said aptly that "March is coming in like a lion".


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