Nor’easter Brings Hurricane-Force Winds to Massachusetts
After battering the New York area, the storm knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers across New England on Wednesday.,
High winds from an early season nor’easter were causing widespread power outages across New England early Wednesday morning, with the National Weather Service reporting gusts of hurricane force along the coast of Massachusetts.
Although there were no immediate reports of damage, a high-wind warning was in effect through late Wednesday afternoon for parts of Massachusetts and southern Rhode Island, the Weather Service said.
[635 AM] Dangerous situation early this morning near and southeast of the I-95 corridor. Winds gusting over Hurricane Force across southeast MA. Numerous downed trees and over 400K power outages in MA alone. TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED early this morning in southeast MA. pic.twitter.com/Hx5zjVKcd6— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston)
As of 7 a.m. Eastern time, almost 425,000 customers in Massachusetts, nearly 80,000 in Rhode Island and about 25,000 in Maine were without power, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the country.
The Weather Service in Boston warned coastal residents, “For your safety indoors, stay away from windows!” It also said the Nantucket area had experienced a bomb cyclone, an explosive deepening of pressure that can lead to powerful wind.
Andrew Loconto, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Boston, said on Wednesday morning that the storm was just south of Nantucket but was expected to move out to sea later in the day.
“That should bring about a decrease in the wind gusts,” Mr. Loconto said, while noting that the Boston area could still see wind gusts up to 55 m.p.h. and Cape Cod could see winds near 65 m.p.h.
“It’s still pretty dangerous across Cape Code and also at times in the Boston area,” he said. Rain showers should begin to taper off by this afternoon.
The same storm battered the New York City area on Tuesday with heavy rain, strong winds and the threat of flash floods, although the region was largely spared the type of deadly extreme weather brought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida last month.
Roads flooded across the region, with flood warnings in effect through Wednesday for the Saddle River in Lodi, N.J., and for the Ramapo River in northern New Jersey and Orange and Rockland Counties in New York.
Officials moved quickly to prepare for the nor’easter, in part scarred by the intensity of several storms this summer that exposed the region’s vulnerability to the extreme weather events made more frequent and intense by climate change.
“We’re not looking outside and seeing Ida today; however, every storm has to be taken seriously,” Joseph Fiordaliso, who leads New Jersey’s utility board, said at a news conference.
“Someday maybe we’ll just have a regular rainstorm. We don’t seem to get those much anymore,” he said, adding, “Climate change is real, and we have to work to mitigate as much of it as we possibly can.”
The threats were brought into stark relief last month, when torrential rain brought by Ida unleashed rushing waters that killed 11 people, including a toddler and his parents, in basement apartments in New York City. At least 43 people died across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut amid the hurricane’s watery remnants.
Reporting was contributed by James Barron, Ellen Barry, Johnny Diaz, Precious Fondren, Michael Gold, Azi Paybarah, Dana Rubinstein, Ed Shanahan, Chris Stanford, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Tracey Tully and Mihir Zaveri.