March 8, 2018 / 10:38 AM / 9 months ago

Snow storm pounds U.S. Northeast, closing schools, snarling commutes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The second winter storm in a week continued to dump wet, heavy snow on New England on Thursday, forcing schools to close, leaving more than 1 million customers without power and snarling the morning commute across the U.S. Northeast.

More snow and fierce wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour (88 km/h) were expected from eastern New York through northern Maine on Thursday after the storm slammed the region on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Up to 18 inches were possible in northern New England.

Boston public schools along with dozens of schools throughout New England canceled classes on Thursday as local officials and forecasters warned of whiteout conditions and slick roads.

Treacherous driving conditions and large snow banks meant many schools in New Jersey were closed for a second day. Outside New York City in the commuter city of Montclair alone, there were more than 100 streets closed due to down trees or power lines, city officials said. New Jersey State Police said on Thursday there were more than 530 crashes on the state’s roads during the previous day’s storm.

New Jersey also was hit with power outages that hit more than 230,000 customers, according to a state outage tracker compiled by the news website NJ.com

Amtrak resumed passenger train services between New York City and Boston on a modified schedule after they were suspended for hours earlier on Thursday. Dozens of other routes were canceled.

New York City residents woke to blue skies on Thursday with melting streaks of sidewalk slush the only reminder of the previous day’s bad weather. But many commuters traveling to the city from New Jersey were foiled.

Fordham Law School Professor Robin Lenhardt, 50, was climbing the hill home from the Maplewood train station after learning that some New Jersey Transit services were suspended due to overhead wire problems. She said she would instead teach her class remotely.

“It was a little bizarre to walk into the station with lots of people with fancy phones that could connect with the internet and nothing was said about trains suspended,” Lenhardt said.

Nearly 200 flights into and out of Boston Logan International airport were canceled.

Slideshow (2 Images)

The dense snow and strong winds downed trees and power lines on Wednesday, knocking power out in more than a million homes and homes and businesses across the Northeast, utility companies said. In Massachusetts alone more than 280,000 customers were without power.

Last week’s storm brought major coastal flooding to Massachusetts, killed at least nine people and knocked out power to about 2.4 million homes and businesses in the Northeast.

Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, Scott DiSavino in New York, Barbara Goldberg in Maplewood, New Jersey, and Bernadette Baum in Montclair, New Jersey; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Bill Trott

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