Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another strong Nor'Easter

One of thousands of trees down in New Jersey. Photo

A powerful east coast storm is pounding the region from the Carolina's northward into New York and coastal New England. The storm has produced hurricane force wind gusts today causing widespread damage and coastal flooding. Winds gusted to 67mph at JFK in New York City and over 50mph in southern Ontario. Power is out to over 450,000 homes in New York and New Jersey. Several thousand homes lost power in southern Ontario. Flooding rains are occurring in metro New York and southern New England. Numerous trees have fallen and the wind has taken several roofs off as well. Trees have crushed cars and homes on Long Island, where over 125,000 customers are without power. The New Jersey Turnpike had to be closed at Exit 7 due to debris being blown onto the highway, and rail service has been suspended in that state. The region had an incredible amount of snow this winter, so the ground is saturated increasing concerns for major flooding. Nearly 4 inches (100mm) of rain is forecast before the storm pulls east out to sea. Strong winds and steady rain also moved into Ontario today from Cornwall west into the GTA. The rain and strong winds are forecast to move into Vermont and Quebec overnight. Winds are expected between 40-60km/h in Montreal, where they are currently gusting over 40km/h. The heaviest rain should remain south of the city.

• Today is the anniversary of the big 1993 Superstorm that struck from Cuba and Mexico to Quebec and east into Atlantic Canada. Over 40cm of snow fell in Montreal with zero visibility for hours. Power was out and roads were closed in the city. It was the only day in my 10 years at the Montreal Gazette that our paper did not get out to our customers. Nearly 300 deaths were reported along the storms path with damage of over 6 billion from snow, flooding, tornadoes, strong wind and waves.

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