A view of a pumpkin patch covered in snow is seen in Portsmouth, New Hampshire October 30, 2011. A rare October snowstorm barreled up the U.S. East Coast on Saturday, cutting power to more than two million households and forcing cancellation of scores of airline flights. PHOTO: REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Decorative displays of pumpkins in New York and New Hampshire lay covered in snow, as a rare and late October winter storm struck the Northeastern U.S. Saturday and Sunday. The snowstorm also led to widespread power outages. According to the National Weather Service, this is the first time, since records began in 1860, that an inch or more of snowfall has been recorded during the month of October.

With the Halloween season at its peak, the storm interrupted last-minute shopping plans in the heavily populated region and left up to two feet of snow in some places.

So far, western Massachusetts, with 27.8 inches in Plainfield, 26 inches in Windsor and 24 inches in Savoy, and New Jersey's West Milford (about 45 minutes northwest of New York City), with 19 inches, have reported the heaviest snowfall amounts, according to the NWS. New York City's Central Park recorded 2.9 inches of snowfall.


A large tree fell on top on cars from the weight of an early snowfall in Worcester, Massachusetts October 30, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/Adam Hunger

The weekend's storm also knocked out power to about 290,000 utility connections in New Hampshire and caused the closure of state and municipal roads, mainly because of the wet and heavy snow dropping trees and branches onto power lines, state  officials said. Utility crews are still working to restore power supple. However, the state has urged those citizens without power in their homes to move, temporarily, to various shelters.

It is possible people will be without power for several days, so residents who are without power should consider alternative shelter plans, said Gov. John Lynch. The governor and Emergency Operations Center officials have warned people to be on the lookout for storm-related hazards when driving.

We urge people to be patient, to be careful, with the use of generators and alternative heat sources, said Christopher M. Pope, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, We also strongly encourage people to slow down and allow extra room between vehicles if they are traveling.

The storm also slowed air travel, with at least 1,000 flights canceled on both Saturday and Sunday. 


A woman walks down a snow-covered street during an early snow storm in New York October 29, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson



A car drives down a snowy road in Bergen County, New Jersey, October 30, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS/Mike Segar