Severe weather in Eastern U.S. leads to 5 deaths and 1.7 million without power

satellite image of east coast storm 1600 utc on december 18 2023

At least 5 people have died and more than 700 000 customers (approximately 1.7 million people) were left without power as a powerful coastal storm swept up the East Coast of the United States over the past couple of days.

Since December 16, a powerful storm has brought heavy rainfall and strong winds across the eastern United States, leading to floods and consequential damages. Media reports as of December 19 indicate that there have been five fatalities across Massachusetts, Maine, New York State, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina due to weather-related incidents and flooding.

In New Jersey, the flooding of the Passaic River has prompted officials to advise several people to evacuate preventatively. The storm’s impact peaked on Monday, causing significant flooding, water rescues, and immobilized traffic.

The number of customers without power has exceeded 700 000, primarily in Maine and Massachusetts. As of 14:00 UTC on December 19, approximately 590 000 customers remain without electricity: Maine with 428 000, Massachusetts with 119 000, Connecticut with 27 000, Rhode Island with 7 000, and New Hampshire with 6 000 affected.

The severe weather has led to the closure of schools in the New England area and the cancellation of over 500 flights.

Although the storm has moved into Canada and the rainfall has subsided in the Northeast, flood threats persist in New England where rivers continue to rise. Additional snowfall is expected in parts of western New York, Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes, and Appalachians on Tuesday.

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