East Coast Sacked by Snow, Flooding, and Power Outages

East Coast snow
Noelle Teixeira shovels snow in Providence, R.I., following a blizzard last weekend. | Image by Robert Lawrence

The United States East Coast was plunged into a deep freeze on Sunday after a powerful nor’easter dumped mounds of snow on the area, flooded coastlines, and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people. 

NBC News reported thousands of people awoke to no power on January 30. According to the National Weather Service, Massachusetts took the brunt of the storm, with the town of Sharon receiving more than thirty inches of snow Saturday night.

NBC News meteorologist Kathryn Prociv said the storm is one of the worst blizzards to hit the east coast in the past four years.

During the storm’s peak, more than 100,000 households lost power, mainly in Massachusetts. By Sunday afternoon, the number of homes without power there had dropped to around 60,000, mostly on hard-hit Cape Cod. There were no widespread outages reported in any other states.

The Guardian reported that the Massachusetts lieutenant governor, Karyn Polito, said officials were not aware of any storm-related fatalities in the state, The Guardian reported.

However, in New York, the blizzard is said to have killed at least four people. On Saturday, three of the dead were discovered in the snow next to their shovels on Long Island. An elderly woman was found dead inside her vehicle overnight in Uniondale, also on Long Island, according to The News Tribune.

CNBC reported the storm dumped snow from Virginia to Maine. In many locations hit by the blizzard, winds as high as eighty miles per hour on Sunday eventually died down a bit on Saturday, and temperatures rose above twenty degrees as people tried to dig out cars, driveways, and sidewalks from the dense snow.

Thousands of people were without power in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on January 30, but as of January 31, just under four hundred people were waiting for their power to be restored, Yahoo News reports. At least three schools in the Cape Cod area have closed school on January 31 for a “snow day.”  

In Rhode Island on January 28, motorists were urged to stay off roads by the National Weather Service, and the state issued a ban on tractor-trailer travel into Saturday.

In Providence, Rhode Island, Robert Lawrence told The Dallas Express that snow fell for the better part of seventeen hours straight.

“We got just over fourteen inches, and from what I gather, this is the fourth biggest storm in the state’s history,” Lawrence said on January 31.

He said that he and his wife, Noelle Teixeira, started shoveling their sidewalks during the middle of the storm, and once they had completed the task, they turned around to look at their work, and it was as if they had not shoveled at all.  

“It looked like we hadn’t done anything,” Lawrence said. “The snow was light and fluffy, so there wasn’t a lot of weight to it, but it just kept coming. But now, it’s almost forty degrees, beautiful out, so it is typical New England weather.”

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