Gusty winds and frigid temperatures plunged the U.S. East Coast into a deep freeze Sunday after a severe nor’easter dumped piles of snow, flooded coastlines and knocked out power to thousands of users.
Dangerous sub-zero winds and snowfall chilled many places from Virginia to Maine.
Philadelphia and New York got plenty of snow, but Massachusetts got the brunt of the storm, with the neighboring towns of Sharon and Stoughton receiving more than 76 centimeters of snow before the storm passed.
The wind caused more than 100,000 users to be without power, mostly in Massachusetts, and also made it difficult for crews to repair overhead wiring.
By Sunday morning, there were only about 50,000 customers without power, mainly on Cape Cod. No other states reported widespread outages.
Wind gusts reached 134 kilometers per hour on Cape Cod. They swept the ground in some places and in others piled snow into large promontories.
Coastal towns were flooded, with wind and waves lashing north of Weymouth, south of Boston, filling streets with freezing water, according to videos posted on social media. Other shots showed a street underwater in Nantucket and waves crashing against the windows of a building in Plymouth.
Meteorologists predicted record snowfall, especially in Boston. The modern record in the area for a winter storm is 70 centimeters, set in 2003.
The city tied its record for the most snowfall in a single day on Saturday, with 60 centimeters, the National Weather Service said.
The snowfall in New England generated comparisons to the famous snowstorm of 1978, which paralyzed the region for several days.
“I was in the ’78 snowfall, and this one was worse. The wind was tremendous,” Joe Brescia, 72, said Sunday as tears streamed down his face from the bitter cold while shoveling his sidewalk in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Brescia, a lifelong resident of New England, said he dreams of being in Florida.
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