More Than 775,000 Without Power as Winter Storm Quinn Dumps Snow on Northeast

Pam Wright, Ada Carr and Sean Breslin
Published: March 7, 2018

More than half a million people are without power after Winter Storm Quinn brought intensifying snow bands to the Northeast that covered roadways and shut down some mass transit.

The storm left more than 775,000 in the dark as it dumped heavy, wet snow on the region, according to PowerOutage.us. More than 100,000 were already without power in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania after Winter Storm Riley battered the East Coast days before.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) announced most of its bus service in the Philadelphia area was suspended Wednesday afternoon, and would remain that way until further notice. Train service, however, was expected to continue through the evening and overnight hours.

(MORE: Winter Storm Quinn Batters the Northeast with Heavy Snow)

A ground stop was in place Wednesday afternoon at Philadelphia International Airport, and in New Jersey, Newark Liberty International Airport was closed because of the snowstorm. Later in the afternoon, Newark Airport was able to reopen one runway, and a limited flight schedule resumed.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge, which spans the Delaware River connecting Delaware to New Jersey, was shut down after 10 tractor-trailers were disabled, according to CBS Philadelphia. It was later reopened after those trucks were removed from the upslope of the bridge, the report added.

In New York City, residents were urged to get home safely – even if that meant leaving work early. But that was made more difficult by the storm, which halted NYC Ferry routes and all NJ Transit bus service.

Amtrak announced that it was operating under a modified schedule in the Northeast, the New York Times reported.

(PHOTOS: Winter Storm Quinn, in Pictures)

Schools were closed in several cities and about 2,500 domestic flights were canceled ahead of the storm's arrival in the Northeast, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. School closures extended as far south as North Carolina, where snow in the mountains forced officials to cancel classes in Watauga County on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

Emergencies were declared in Pennsylvania and New Jersey ahead of the storm. 

In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statewide ban on tractor-trailers and tandem trailers on limited access highways, according to state police. 

1 Injured by Lightning Strike During Thundersnow

Officials in Ocean County, New Jersey, said a teacher was hospitalized after being struck by lightning during thundersnow, NBC Philadelphia reported. She was in stable condition after being struck, the report added.

Her name has not been released.

10 Hospitalized with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In North White Plains, New York, 10 people were taken to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the AP. They were exposed to the deadly gas while running a generator inside their home, the report added.

All 10 people were expected to survive, the AP also said.

"We've ventilated the structure of all the remaining CO and we are in the process of determining next steps along with the building department and we’ve contacted the Red Cross for shelter for the occupants," North White Plains Fire Chief Andrew Seicol told CBS New York.

(MORE: What Is a Nor'easter?)

Travel Conditions Worsen in Philly Area

Travel conditions went downhill fast Wednesday afternoon in the Philadelphia area, with what appeared to be a pileup on Interstate 76 westbound leaving the city.

Power outages spiked Wednesday afternoon, with more than 125,000 customers in the dark, most of which were in far eastern Pennsylvania.

According to a statement from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office, the state banned certain high-profile vehicles, including empty straight trucks, large combination vehicles, tractors hauling empty trailers, trailers pulled by passenger vehicles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, from some portions of interstates.

These include Interstate 78 from the junction with Interstate 81 in Lebanon County to the New Jersey line, I-80 from the junction with I-81 to the New Jersey line, I-81 from the Maryland line to the New York line and I-84 from the junction with I-81 to the New York line.

The ban began Tuesday at midnight and will remain in place "as long as warranted through the storm."

Wolf also said 450 National Guard members are on standby to assist with storm preparations and aftermath. Quinn forced all Philadelphia schools to close on Wednesday, and a snow emergency was declared.

"Take care of your neighbors; that's what we ask," Wolf said during a Wednesday morning press briefing.

(MORE: Why Storms Like Quinn Are Such a Difficult Forecast)

Coastal Flooding Reported (Again)

In the mid-Atlantic, coastal flooding returned as Quinn strengthened off the coast. The Annapolis Police Department said flooding closed Compromise and Dock Streets in the Maryland city Wednesday morning.

Drivers were also being told to avoid the Eastport Bridge from Eastport to downtown Annapolis.

Wintry conditions also closed several school districts in Maryland on Wednesday, according to CBS Baltimore.

Along North Carolina's Outer Banks, coastal flooding kept N.C. 12 closed from Rodanthe to the Bonner Bridge Wednesday morning as crews continued to clear sand and water that washed over the road starting with Winter Storm Riley over the weekend.

(MORE: The Toughest Places to Forecast Weather in the U.S.)

Stay Home, Boston Officials Say

In Boston, transit authorities have announced cancellations of several shuttle bus routes for the rest of the week beginning Tuesday evening, including routes between North Quincy and Raintree.

In Duxbury, south of Boston, crews are frantically working to secure a seawall that was damaged last week by surging seas and high winds from Winter Storm Riley, WBZ-TV reported.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation asked residents to refrain from traveling during the storm.

"This storm will bring heavy snowfall to areas across the state throughout Wednesday and into Thursday, which could create hazardous travel conditions, especially for the Wednesday evening commute when the snowfall may be at its heaviest," said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. "We advise members of the public to stay off the roads if possible, consider working from home or postponing travel plans and taking public transit if they must travel during this storm. Those who are out on the roadways should give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, travel at reduced speeds, and leave plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles."

(MORE: Why Thundersnow Happens)

Travel Headaches Pile Up in New York

Bus and train cancellations left some commuters stranded Wednesday as snow shrouded the Empire State.

I don’t know how to go home right now. I am trying to find out the way to go home,” resident Huseyin Aktug told Reuters after becoming stranded at Penn Station. 

Because of the winter storm, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel ban for tractor-trailers along the New York State Thruway from near Syracuse to New York City. Violators will receive tickets from state troopers, Cuomo also said.


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