NEW YORK (Reuters) - A rainstorm across the U.S. Northeast unleashed fierce winds that downed trees, knocked out power and halted commuter trains on Monday, five years after the deadly Superstorm Sandy struck the same region.
Hundreds of thousands of customers across swaths of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and other states were without power late on Monday while utility crews scrambled to repair downed power lines.
In Maine, which was particularly hard hit, 385,000 Central Maine Power Company customers had no electricity late on Monday afternoon, the company said in a statement.
More than 1.3 million homes and businesses had no power at the peak of the outages, according to local media.
Wind gusts of 131 mph (211 km/h) were reported on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington early on Monday, while up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain fell across New England on Sunday and early Monday, said National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Marc Chenard.
“There has been quite a bit of wind, and when the ground gets wet like this, trees fall,” Chenard said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The storm hit the East Coast five years after Sandy killed at least 159 people in New York, New Jersey and other parts of the East Coast, while damaging or destroying some 650,000 homes.
Amtrak train service between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut, was temporarily suspended on Monday as crews scrambled to clear branches and restore power, authorities said.
Connecticut commuters piled onto buses or sought alternative routes after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspended Metro-North Railroad service on the New Canaan line and Danbury line after a mudslide and related signal problems, the MTA said.
Traffic lights in parts of Washington, D.C. remained dark due to power outages early on Monday.
The heaviest rains and winds ended late on Monday morning, the NWS said, but lighter precipitation and some gusts persisted throughout the day.
Roads and intersections near Plymouth, New Hampshire, were flooded on Monday after the Pemigewasset River overflowed, said NWS meteorologist Patrick Burke.
Some rivers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine had minor flooding, he said.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andrew Hay