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News Story
Updated: 03/03/2018 01:19:00AM

Nor’easter grounds flights, halts trains along East Coast

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Waves crash against a seawall near the Scituate Lighthouse, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Scituate, Mass. A major nor'easter pounded the East Coast on Friday, packing heavy rain and strong winds as residents from the mid-Atlantic to Maine braced for coastal flooding. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

A woman walks on Center Street during a snow storm in West Stockbridge, Mass., Wednesday, March 2, 2018. A major nor'easter is combining with high tide to cause flooding along coastal areas of the Eastern Seaboard. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

Streets department workers David Boardly, left, and James Ockimey clear a downed tree during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Streets department worker James Ockimey clears a downed tree during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A car drives down a snowy road in Pittsfield, Mass., Wednesday, March 2, 2018. A major nor'easter is combining with high tide to cause flooding along coastal areas of the Eastern Seaboard. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

A pedestrian walks near the coastline Friday, March 2, 2018, in Newburyport, Mass. as a major nor'easter pounds the East Coast, packing heavy rain, intermittent snow and strong winds. The Eastern Seaboard is expected to be buffeted by wind gusts exceeding 50 mph, with possible hurricane-strength winds of 80 to 90 mph on Cape Cod. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

A car sits in a Long Wharf parking lot flooded by water from Boston Harbor at high tide during a major nor'easter that pounded the East Coast, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

A pedestrian fights a wind gust in Boston during a major nor'easter that pounded the East Coast, Friday, March 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

People stand behind sand bags to keep water from Boston Harbor from encroaching during high tide at the entrance to the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel as a major nor'easter pounds the East Coast, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

A pedestrian walks away after being told by police that a flooded roadway towards Plum Island is closed Friday, March 2, 2018, in Newburyport, Mass., as a major nor'easter pounds the East Coast, packing heavy rain, intermittent snow and strong winds. The Eastern Seaboard is expected to be buffeted by wind gusts exceeding 50 mph, with possible hurricane-strength winds of 80 to 90 mph on Cape Cod. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Fisherman Marc Gustafson, of Marshfield, Mass., uses a line to secure boats in strong wind at Scituate Harbor, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Scituate, Mass. A major nor'easter pounded the East Coast on Friday, packing heavy rain and strong winds as residents from the mid-Atlantic to Maine braced for coastal flooding. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Delta airplanes are grounded, Friday, March 2, 2018, in New York. Airlines have cancelled many flights out of New York as a severe storm arrives in the northeast. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Vehicles travel in near white out conditions along State Route 309 in Kingston Township, Pa., Friday March 2, 2018. A late-winter nor'easter is pummeling the region with high winds and driving rain. (Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

A woman struggles against wind and rain in center city Philadelphia on Friday, March 2, 2018. A late-winter nor'easter is pummeling the region with high winds and driving rain. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

A woman struggles against wind and rain along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in center city on Friday, March 2, 2018 in Philadelphia. A late-winter nor'easter is pummeling the region with high winds and driving rain. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

A family walks down a snowy street during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Streets department worker James Ockimey clears a downed tree during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Streets department worker David Boardly clears a downed tree during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Streets department worker David Boardly clears a downed tree during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Streets department worker David Boardly clears a downed tree during a winter storm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Marple Township, Pa. A nor'easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

By SARAH BETANCOURT

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BOSTON — A nor’easter pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine. At least five people were killed by falling trees or branches.

The storm submerged cars and toppled tractor-trailers, sent waves higher than a two-story house crashing into the Massachusetts coast, forced schools and businesses to close early and caused a rough ride for passengers aboard a flight that landed at Dulles Airport outside Washington.

“Pretty much everyone on the plane threw up,” a pilot wrote in a report to the National Weather Service.

The Eastern Seaboard was hammered by gusts exceeding 50 mph, with winds of 80 to 90 mph on Cape Cod. Ohio and upstate New York got a foot or more of snow. Boston and Rhode Island were expected to get 2 to 5 inches.

The storm killed at least five people, including a 77-year-old woman struck by a branch outside her home near Baltimore. Fallen trees also killed a man and a 6-year-old boy in different parts of Virginia, an 11-year-old boy in New York state and a man in Newport, Rhode Island.

Floodwaters in Quincy, Massachusetts, submerged cars, and police rescued people trapped in their vehicles. High waves battered nearby Scituate, making roads impassable and turning parking lots into small ponds. More than 1,800 people alerted Scituate officials they had evacuated, The Boston Globe reported.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker activated 200 National Guard members to help victims.

Airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights, mostly in the Northeast. LaGuardia and Kennedy airports in New York City were brought to a near standstill.

President Donald Trump, who traveled to North Carolina for the funeral for the Rev. Billy Graham, was forced to fly out of Dulles instead of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is housed, because of high winds.

Amtrak suspended service along the Northeast Corridor, from Washington to Boston. In New Jersey, a tree hit overhead wires, forcing the suspension of some New Jersey Transit commuter service.

Winds toppled a truck on Rhode Island’s Newport Pell Bridge and prompted officials to close several bridges in the state to commercial vehicles. A tractor-trailer also tipped over on New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge, snarling traffic for hours.

The federal government closed all offices in the Washington area for the day. Smithsonian museums also shut their doors.

In the western New York town of Hornell, 30-year-old Anna Stewart was milking the 130 cows of her dairy farm in a barn powered by a generator hooked up to a tractor. Stewart lost power Thursday night. Hornell got more than 14 inches of snow.

“The snow is pretty wet and heavy. It’s taken down a lot of lines,” Stewart said. “There’s more snow than I’ve seen in quite a few years.”

On the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown resident Andy Towle took video of a 50-foot fishing boat breaking free from its mooring and drifting dangerously toward the rocks.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” the 50-year-old resident said. “The harbormaster was down there with police, and they didn’t know what to do.”


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