Winter Storm Leaves Tens of Thousands without Power in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania; Boston Schools Closed

Ron Brackett
Published: December 3, 2019
Rashad Taylor clears snow on Genesee Street in Springfield's Liberty Heights neighborhood after an overnight snowstorm, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
(Don Treeger/The Republican via AP)

Snow lingered Tuesday from a winter storm that had already dumped up to three feet of snow across parts of the Northeast and caused hundreds of crashes, closed schools, canceled flights and made commutes treacherous.

Boston Public Schools joined dozens of districts from North Carolina to Maine in canceling classes Tuesday, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker urged drivers to be careful during the morning commute.

The winter storm, which was named Ezekiel by The Weather Channel, left more than 80,000 customers without electricity in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, according to poweroutage.com. More than 370 flights had been canceled as of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to flightaware.com.

A bus carrying about 30 people collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 90 about 7 p.m. Monday in New Lebanon, New York, during a snowstorm. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were some injuries but that they didn't appear to be life threatening. It was one of hundreds of crashes along the region's highways.

Earlier Monday, Cuomo declared a state of emergency for seven counties and deployed 300 members of the National Guard to help with snow removal and cleanup operations.

(MORE: First Significant Northeast Winter Storm of the Season Wraps Up in New England Tuesday

New York state offices were closed for all nonessential employees. The National Weather Service said 22.6 inches of snow fell Dec. 1-3 at Albany International Airport in the state capital.

In Maine, Gov. Janet Mills delayed the opening of state offices but later announced they would be closed altogether because of the storm. Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut delayed the opening of state offices until 10 a.m.

Crashes and Interstate Disruptions

In Sharon, Massachusetts, a jackknifed tractor-trailer blocked all southbound lanes on Interstate 95 about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, AP reported. The interstate was closed for about 90 minutes, WJAR reported.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said it had 2,800 crews plowing roads.

A tractor-trailer also jackknifed on Interstate 91 in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and another truck slid off I-84 in Tolland, the Hartford Courant reported. No fatal crashes were reported.

A multivehicle crash on Interstate 76 in New Jersey's Camden County about 7 Tuesday morning caused major traffic delays, nj.com reported. Northbound Interstate 676 also backed up after a vehicle overturned at Exit 1 in Camden.

The day before, the New Jersey Department of Transportation banned tractor-trailers, empty commercial vehicles, RVs, motorcycles and personal vehicles pulling trailers from parts of Interstate 80, I-78, and I-287. Speeds were limited to 45 mph on three parts of the New Jersey Turnpike, NJ.com reported.

A jackknifed tractor-trailer, which was violating the state’s temporary ban on commercial vehicles on the interstate, blocked one southbound lane of I-287 for about an hour Monday near Kinnelon, New Jersey, about 18 miles northwest of Newark, according to NJDOT.

People clear snow in a shopping center on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, after an overnight snowfall in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Transportation officials in Pennsylvania also dropped speed limits to 45 mph and imposed vehicle restrictions on parts of Interstate 80 and on I-81, I-84,I-476, and I-380. A tractor-trailer rolled over on northbound I-81 about 1:30 p.m. near Scott Township, the DOT reported.

Massachusetts Transportation Department reduced speed limits to 40 mph on parts of I-90, I-91, and I-291. Restrictions were lifted for I-90 later in the morning.

Icy and snowy roads made travel difficult over the weekend across much of the North. Hundreds of crashes were reported from the Midwest to the Northeast.

New York state police had responded to more than 740 storm-related crashes statewide since the snow started falling, the AP reported.

An Amtrak train that left Niagara Falls collided with a snowplow near Scotia, just outside of Schenectady, New York, the Albany Times Union reported. No one was injured, and Train 280 was rolling again by 10:43 a.m., Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said.

(MORE: Why Do Snowfall Forecasts Change as a Storm Gets Closer?

People work to shovel off their vehicles after an overnight snowfall that caused parking trouble and traffic situations on State Street, in Albany, New York, on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

In Ithaca, New York, firefighters had to rescue a woman from a car that crashed into a snowplow and slid down an embankment, WSTM reported. She was taken to a hospital.

A 9-year-old child was hurt Sunday in Queensbury, New York, when a snowplow slid into the back of an SUV they were riding in, WNYT reported. The child suffered minor injuries and is expected to recover.

In Boston, a ferry traveling from Hingham hit a wave during the windy weather and listed heavily, knocking some passengers to the floor, the AP reported. No injuries were reported.

Parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia closed Monday because of the bad weather, according to the National Park Service. Roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including U.S. Highway 441 also closed.

More than 60,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey Monday evening, according to PowerOutage.us.

Airport Chaos

By 9 a.m. Tuesday, more than 200 domestic flights were canceled and over 750 were delayed, according to flightaware.com. More than 930 flights were canceled on Monday.

A Delta Air Lines aircraft slid off a taxiway after landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, WKBW reported. No injuries were reported.

Weather is being looked at as a possible cause in the crash of a small-engine plane on Saturday in South Dakota that killed nine people. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the crash happened as major winter weather barreled through the region.

Storm Blamed for 7 Other Deaths

One person was killed in a rollover accident near Cavour, South Dakota, or just northwest of Sioux Falls, early Friday. The pickup truck lost control on an ice covered road and went into a ditch and rolled. Both people in the truck had to be removed from the truck by authorities, but neither were wearing seat belts, according to KELO.

A crash on Interstate 15 near Willard, Utah, killed one person Wednesday morning when the car slid off the road, the Deseret News reported.

Authorities in Arizona found the bodies of two young children, and a third child was missing, after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek in Tonto National Forest on Friday, the AP reported.

Two boys, ages 5 and 8, died Saturday near Patton, Missouri, when the vehicle they were riding in was swept off flooded roads, the AP also said. A 48-year-old man died in a separate incident near Sedgewickville, Missouri, according to a separate AP report.


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