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Over 1.5 million without power as strong coastal low hits US East Coast

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A strong coastal low pressure system hit the Eastern United States, unleashing heavy rain and strong winds Sunday night into Monday, October 30, 2017. The storm caused both flash and river flooding, and downed trees and power lines, leaving more than 1.5 million customers without power.

The storm absorbed remnants of Tropical Storm "Philippe," which caused a couple of tornadoes and damages in areas of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach on Saturday, drawing moisture and energy northward and rapidly intensified as it approached the New York coast, downing trees and power lines.

Winds near the coast of New England gusted over 113 km/h (70 mph) on Monday morning. Gusts to 131 km/h (82 mph) were recorded at Mashpee, Massachusetts, 185 km/h (115 mph) at Mt. Mansfield in Vermont, and 214 km/h (133 mph) at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire (elevation 1.8+ km / 6 000 feet).

There were about 180 reports of wind damage in the past 24 hours in the Northeast.

As of 13:15 UTC Monday (09:15 EDT), 360 932 customers are still without power in Maine, 318 387 in Massachusetts, 272 728 in New Hampshire and 150 583 in Connecticut, bringing the total to 1 102 621, according to PowerOutage.US. By the end of the day, there were more than 1.5 million customers without power.

Heavy rain produced by the storm triggered both flash and river flooding across the region, stranding cars and forcing road closures. Highest rainfall was recorded in Tannersville, New York at 137.9 mm (5.43 inches). 134.3 mm (5.29 inches) was measured in Waterbury, Connecticut, 114.3 mm (4.50 inches) near Waretown, New Jersey, 104.9 mm (4.13 inches) in Danbury, Connecticut, and 97.5 mm (3.84 inches) at Newark, New Jersey.

While the heaviest rain has already fallen and winds will ease in parts Monday morning, this event is still not over. High wind warnings are still in effect for parts of central and eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, western Massachusetts and western Connecticut. High wind warnings have also been posted for parts of eastern New York and near Lake Ontario.

"The central low will continue on its track through Quebec Tuesday and Wednesday, November 1," NWS said. "Rain, heavy at times, will spread across portions of the Northeast and Great Lakes and persist for a couple of days, while diminishing over the Mid-Atlantic today."

"Flood watches and warnings will remain in effect across portions of the Northeast. Light snow will be possible over the highest elevations of the Central Appalachians. Strong winds are expected near the deep low; much of New England is under a High Wind Watch with Storm Warnings/Hurricane Force Wind Warnings for the coastal and offshore waters."

Update:

As of 20:00 UTC on Tuesday, October 31, there were 612 510 customers still without power. 356 268 in Maine, 115 217 in New Hampshire, 83 339 in Massachusetts, and 83 686 in Rhode Island.

Featured image: Strong storm hits the Eastern United States on Monday, October 30, 2017. Credit: NOAA/GOES-16, acquired 10:15 UTC.

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