Now that winter storm Nemo has dumped feet of snow across the northeast, residents have to clean up its mess. Roughly 650,000 people across New England were without power on Saturday morning as crews set out in deep snow to help get the lights back on.
Most of the homes without power were located in Connecticut and Rhode Island, with about 300,000 powerless homes in Massachusetts. Trucks were plowing early Saturday to clear the roads for National Grid employees, who then scaled telephone polls and cleared debris.
Officials warned residents in each state to stay inside and use common sense. Fallen wires pose a serious threat to anyone who steps in the wrong puddle or snow pile. Widespread power outages in cold weather also make it tempting for homeowners to bring generators into their garage, which can distribute deadly gas fumes throughout a home.
The small coastal town of Scituate, Mass., was among the worst hit by the blizzard. Town administrator Patricia Vinchesi said Nemo was worse than Hurricane Sandy, in part because flooding is expected in the community, which is located near Plymouth.
“We have 100 percent power outage, we have hundreds of trees down. Most of our communications are down,” Vinchesi told the Boston Herald. “The snow is lasting a little longer than anybody anticipated … The water is already high, and the wind is still more than we anticipated. So we expect severe flooding at (high tide).”
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However, power authorities from NStar and National Grid said electricity would be fully restored within days, not weeks. Utility companies said that most of the problems normally associated with major storms (e.g., wind, ice) were relatively minor after Nemo.
All of the reported deaths were due to car accidents, with three people killed in one car wreck in Canada. A 74-year-old pedestrian in Poughkeepsie, New York, was killed after being struck by a driver who lost control of her car.