2 Million Without Power in Northeastern US After Rare Snowstorm

Posted October 31st, 2011 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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The northeastern United States is digging itself out of a rare October snowstorm that has left more than two million homes and businesses without power and killed at least five people.

As much as 76 centimeters of heavy, wet snow fell on the region Sunday, snapping trees still bearing leaves and cutting power lines. Widespread power outages were reported Monday in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The snowstorm smashed record snowfall totals for October.

Utility repair crews from around the country and even Canada converged on the region and managed to reduce the number of power outages. But power companies warned that many customers should expect several more days without electricity.

Workers faced a tricky Monday commute, with many roads inaccessible and ongoing disruptions to rail and air travel. In some areas, local authorities urged residents to postpone festivities for the October 31st Halloween holiday, warning that such events could place children at risk of walking over downed power lines or being struck by falling trees. Shelters also were opened across the region.

The snowstorm is the latest natural disaster to hit the U.S. Northeast after Hurricane Irene flooded the region in August.