NEW YORK | At least five people died in a storm that hit the northeastern United States on Friday night, with heavy snow, heavy rain and gusty winds, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights and trains.
A six-year-old boy died when a tree crashed into his home while he was sleeping, county officials said. In the same state, a 44-year-old man died when a tree fell on his truck, police said. Near Baltimore, on the east side, a 77-year-old woman also lost her life when she was hit by a large tree branch in Kingsville, according to Baltimore police.
Falling trees also reportedly killed another 11-year-old boy in Putnam Valley, New York, as well as a septuagenarian in Rhode Island.
This winter storm, called Riley, affects an area from Maryland to Massachusetts, and was expected to last until the early hours of Saturday morning.
Its intensity has been increased by a phenomenon called “weather bomb”, characterized by a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure.
In the Washington area, weather conditions marked by gales of wind forecast at 120 km / h, prompted the government to close all federal administrative services of the agglomeration. Schools in the federal capital remained closed on Friday, as did those in surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia.
Inspired by images of palisades or trees felling around the capital, the nickname “Windmageddon” (a combination of the words “wind” for wind and “Armageddon” for apocalypse) has blossomed on social networks.
Further north, from New Jersey to Massachusetts, the National Weather Service (NWS) has warned of risks of coastal submersion and inland flooding.
The heavy rains observed since the end of the night from Thursday to Friday, as well as gusts of wind, have resulted in the cancellation of more than a thousand flights to or from airports in the area.
The New York LaGuardia Airport was the most affected, with more than 600 flights removed, according to the FlightAware site.
According to the same source, more than a third of flights were canceled Friday from or to another New York airport, Newark Liberty, but also Boston (Logan) and Washington (Reagan).
At JFK, the third airport in New York, gusts over 100 km / h were found and management announced early in the afternoon that departures were “very limited.”
Shortly after mid-day, national rail operator Amtrak announced the cancellation of all trains running in the northeast.
Over the entire area hit by Riley, more than 100,000 homes were, at one time or another, deprived of electricity Friday, according to the various companies serving the region.
In the coastal regions of New Jersey, New York State and Massachusetts, the temperature slightly above 0 ° C gave a mixture of slush, hail and rain.
More than ten centimeters of precipitation in 30 hours was expected in parts of Long Island, near New York.
Boston recorded the third highest tide Friday since regular measurements began to be made 90 years ago.
Further inland, snowfall reached up to 30 centimeters in central New York State, depending on the national weather, and was expected to continue.