East Coast residents struggle with flooding and power outages after storms ripped across the US


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A major storm drenched the Northeast and slammed it with fierce winds, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands following a bout of violent weather that struck most of the U.S.

The storm, which started Tuesday night and was moving out Wednesday, washed out roads and took down trees and power lines. Wind gusts reached 45 mph to 55 mph (72 kph to 88 kph) and more windy weather was expected throughout Wednesday.

It followed a day of tornadoes and deadly accidents in the South and blizzards in the Midwest and Northwest.

Here's how various areas are being affected by the storms:


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm. Many streets and roads were flooded and rivers were rising after some areas got up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain since Tuesday night.

Lou DeFazio, 65, of Manville, New Jersey, lives steps away from the Millstone River that flooded disastrously in 2021 after the remnants of Ida slammed into the state and swerved riverbanks. He said the river was expected to crest later Wednesday.

“It’s getting worse and worse,” he said.

Mark Nipps, a lifelong resident of Manville, New Jersey, who watched President Joe Biden’s visit to the town in 2021 after Ida wrecked dozens of homes, left in large part because of the regular flooding.

“Mentally, every two years seeing your hometown devastated — that’s not good at all,” he said in a phone interview from his home outside Greenville, South Carolina.

Murphy said 56,000 homes were without power and several hundred accidents and highway assists were reported, but no storm deaths. The rain fell on ground saturated by another storm a few weeks ago. Another storm is forecast for the weekend.

Murphy said it’s easier to warn people if they’re going to get a foot of snow or a tornado than heavy rain or flooding.

“For whatever reason, people say, ‘You know what? I can deal with that,’ ” Murphy said in an interview with CBS New York. “And we saw in the storm Ida, people pay with their lives by driving their cars into a street they shouldn’t have, or staying in their home when they shouldn’t have.”


Even before high tide Wednesday morning, parts of Long Island's southern shore were already inundated by coastal flooding.

In Nassau County, video showed cars sloshing through water that had collected on the streets of Freeport. Further east, near the Hamptons, the National Weather Service reported major flooding out of Shinnecock Bay. Several schools across Long Island were either canceling or delaying classes as a result of the storm.

New York City officials evacuated nearly 2,000 migrants housed at a sprawling tent complex before the storm hit amid fears that the facility could collapse in heavy winds.

Photos showed the migrant families sleeping on the floor of a Brooklyn high school, whose students were forced to go remote on Wednesday as a result of the brief relocation. The migrants returned to the tent facility at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday after the winds had subsided, officials said.


In Danbury, Connecticut, officials said the snow that melted in the overnight rain had overwhelmed the city’s drainage capacity, leaving a dozen intersections flooded. At least one motorist was rescued from a vehicle.

Fire officials in Bozrah, Connecticut, said no rescue efforts have been needed due to a reported break in the Fitchville Dam. Local and state authorities were monitoring the dam.

Norwich Public Utilities, a local electricity provider, said it had to take a power substation offline to avoid damage from flooding from the dam break. The company said about 5,000 homes and businesses were without power as a result.

The storm canceled numerous events and government functions in Maine, where some areas were still recovering from a major snowstorm over the weekend and flooding the previous month.

Powerful winds gusted to 95 mph (153 kph) at Maine’s Isle au Haut, an island in Penobscot Bay, and to 83 mph (134 kph) off the coast of Rye New, Hampshire, said Jon Palmer from the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses were in the dark, mostly in coastal areas that were lashed by wind and rain. Farther inland, heavy wet snow blanketed the region.

Flash flood warnings were issued. Maine Gov. Janet Mills encouraged residents to stay off the roads if they could.

“Please be sure to give plow trucks, utility crews, and emergency first responders plenty of space as they work to keep us safe,” she said.

In Vermont, the storm brought wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour and heaving wet snow, followed by rain, leaving nearly 30,000 homes without power Wednesday morning. Many schools were closed or had delayed openings.


Slushy highways led to the deaths of a driver in Wisconsin and another in Michigan following collisions.

The storm, which began Monday, buried cities across the Midwest in snow, stranding people on highways. Some areas saw up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow on Monday, including Kansas, eastern Nebraska and South Dakota, western Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota.

Madison, Wisconsin, was under a winter storm warning until early Wednesday, with as much as 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow and 40 mph (64 kph) winds on tap.

The weather has already affected campaigning for Iowa’s Jan. 15 precinct caucuses, where the snow is expected to be followed by frigid temperatures that could drift below zero degrees (minus 18 Celsius).

Forecasters warned snow-struck regions of the Midwest and the Great Plains that temperatures could plunge dangerously low because of wind chill, dipping to around minus 20 (29 Celsius) and even far lower in Chicago, Kansas City and some areas of Montana.


Several deaths have been blamed on storms that struck the area with heavy rain, tornado reports, hail and wind.

An 81-year-old woman in Alabama was killed when her mobile home was tossed from its foundation by a suspected tornado. Another person died in North Carolina after a suspected tornado struck a mobile home park. A man died south of Atlanta when a tree fell on his car.

The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee, Florida, planned to send out three tornado survey teams on Wednesday to examine suspected tornado damage in Walton, Bay and Jackson counties in Florida, and two more on Thursday to look at Houston County, Alabama, and Calhoun County, Georgia.

Roofs were blown off homes, furniture, fences and debris were strewn about during the height of the storm in the South.

Many areas of Florida remained under flood watches, warnings and advisories early Wednesday amid concerns that streams and rivers were topping their banks. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who gave his State of the State address Tuesday as tornado warnings were active outside the Capitol, issued an executive order to include 49 counties in North Florida under a state of emergency.


A blizzard pounded Washington and Oregon mountains on Tuesday, knocking out power and prompting the closure of highways and ski resorts.

At one point, some 150,000 customers in those states were without electricity, although that was down to under 20,000 by Wednesday morning.