Unexpected snowfall cripples life in New York

Unexpected snowfall cripples life in New York

New York City : NY : USA | Oct 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM PDT
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Portraits of Leadership: Dolores A. Morris

New York received its first winter snowfall ahead of Halloween on Saturday morning. The streets and highways were buried in a thick blanket of snow by afternoon and authorities claimed New York City's Central Park witnessed its snowiest October on record.

Many might have prayed for a white Christmas, but who would have asked for a snowy Halloween. With the night of ghosts and ghouls right around the corner, New York was hit by only its fourth October snowfall since the Civil War. Snowflakes fell in the city accumulating on roofs and cars.

Apart from the Big Apple, governors declared a state of emergency in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts as snow blanketed areas from Maryland to Maine.

The unexpected snow in the U.S. brought along a storm that disrupted air traffic at Newark Airport, where flights were delayed, while planes heading to the New York area’s other two airports, JFK and LaGuardia, and to Philadelphia were not allowed to depart until early afternoon.

The snowstorm reportedly spurred power outages in the northeast with more than 70,000 customers left without power in New York City, Westchester and Long Island alone.

“A rare October snowstorm has left millions of customers in the Northeast US without power,” said The National Grid in a statement on their website. “The early winter weather caused wet snow to fall on trees still heavy with leaves – causing falling branches and downed power lines. National Grid crews are out in force restoring power to customers in a number of our communities experiencing outages. Please select your region below to learn more.”

With Halloween just around the corner, the snowstorm came on a busy weekend for trick-or-treaters who might face trouble going door-to-door in search of Halloween candy.

The snowstorm also tested the determination of anti-Wall Street protesters camped in a New York park Saturday, as police arrested demonstrators in Denver and evicted others from a Nashville plaza. After more than an inch of snow fell in the city, hundreds of protesters struggled to stay warm and dry as temperatures forecast dropped to freezing overnight.

Meanwhile, forecasters claim the worst is yet to come on Sunday in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and upstate New York. Transportation officials early Sunday advised the residents of 13 counties to reduce the speed limits, especially on bridges, and avoid any unnecessary travel after the snowstorm had claimed three lives.

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New York City firefighters on a call in the Bronx borough of New York
New York City firefighters on a call in the Bronx borough of New York
Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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