US snowstorm – 13 dead, 1.7 million without power

Washington: A freak October snowstorm that dropped more than two feet of snow in some places has left close to 1.7 million people in five states in northeastern United States without power for two days. At least 13 deaths have been blamed on the weekend storm, which prompted emergency declarations from the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Utilities throughout the region reported significant progress in restoring power, but officials Monday warned it could be Friday before power is back on everywhere with cold, snowy conditions and house-by-house nature of the damage slowing work.

Freak October snow: Photo by Avnish Katoch

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Connecticut Monday, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts.

About a dozen Massachusetts cities have postponed Halloween celebrations, according to CNN. At least 20 Connecticut cities and towns, including the capital city of Hartford, cancelled events or asked parents to wait until later to take their kids trick-or-treating.

Some of the heaviest snow fell in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, but snowfall amounts of at least a foot were recorded from West Virginia to Maine. The Berkshire County community of Peru, Massachusetts, received 32 inches of snow during the storm.

In Massachusetts, state officials said utility crews had come from as far as Louisiana and Texas to help. Patrick said utility crews had made a 23 percent dent in the number of buildings without power as of Monday morning.

But 478,000 people remained without power in Massachusetts Monday evening, according to officials. Elsewhere, about 202,000 customers were without power in Pennsylvania; 116,000 in New Jersey and 127,000 in New York.


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