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Storms take out power in the Upper Valley, kill 2 elsewhere in the U.S.

  • Chris Hastings and his son Jack look over the large maple tree that fell in front of their house on Friday morning Nov. 1, 2019 in Thetford Center, Vt. Jack was home when the tree fell. He said first there was a slight crack then a huge bang. The tree fell between the house and a crabapple tree. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The Winooski River flows across North Williston Road in Essex on Friday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Associated Press
Published: 11/1/2019 10:02:04 PM
Modified: 11/1/2019 10:01:48 PM

MONTPELIER — Storms that began on Halloween killed at least two people, caused flooding, downed trees and power lines and damaged homes from the Deep South to the Northeast on Friday.

The number of people without power — from South Carolina to Maine to Ohio — was starting to creep down, but still more than 440,000 customers were without electricity Friday afternoon.

The high winds knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in the Upper Valley, and as of 5 p.m. Friday more than 12,000 people in Windsor and Orange counties remained without electricity.

Eversource also reported scattered outages throughout New Hampshire.

Roads throughout the region — from Canaan to Woodstock to Norwich — were also temporarily closed because of downed trees and wires.

A tree fell across Interstate 91 northbound in Weathersfield, briefly closing off highway traffic Friday morning.

The Thetford Volunteer Fire Department said a portion of Route 132 near the Strafford town line and West Fairlee Road from Route 244 to Pine Tree Lane was still closed as of late Friday afternoon, as were some smaller roads in town.

State transportation officials also said Route 100 in the Windsor County town of Rochester was closed near Quarry Hill Road for several hours because of flooding.

Even Vermont’s Gov. Phil Scott was not immune to road-clearing delays: He had to take out a chainsaw and remove a tree on his property in order to drive his ailing dog to the veterinarian, he told Vermont Public Radio.

While the storms knocked out power and stopped traffic in the Upper Valley, they proved fatal in other parts of the country. A man in Tennessee who was injured when a tree fell on his van later died, officials said Friday. In New York, the body of a driver who was swept away on Thursday was found.

In a New York City suburb, a 9-year-old girl was injured on Halloween when she was hit by a falling tree while trick or treating. Another person was injured when a tornado touched down in Pennsylvania.

A tornado with winds of 111-135 mph tore through Glen Mills, a Delaware County suburb of Philadelphia, the National Weather Service confirmed.

Local officials say that at least two dozen homes were damaged and one person was injured. Investigators are still evaluating whether tornadoes touched down elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

By midafternoon Friday almost 90,000 homes and businesses were without electricity across Pennsylvania. In the western part of the state, storms caused flooding, mudslides and road closures. High winds Friday morning caused a car fire to spread to other vehicles in a hotel parking lot in Harmar Township, leaving six cars damaged, officials said.

Almost 180,000 customers were without power in New York state after a night of heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 70 mph.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Spectrum News on Friday that several hundred people were being evacuated in scattered areas of the state because of high waters. In the central New York village of Dolgeville, police had to use a boat to rescue people from a home. The Buffalo area, meanwhile, was dealing with flash flooding after 4-5 inches of rain.

The weather also led to the cancellation of the opening session of the luge national championships at Mount Van Hoevenberg, which is in Essex County. USA Luge said Saturday’s races remain on schedule.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Conor Lahiff in Burlington, Vt., said the amount of rainfall in some parts of northeastern New York and northern Vermont was almost double what had been forecast.

“We knew there would be rivers to come up because we had saturated soils,” Lahiff said.

A flood warning remained in effect for much of northern Vermont, and officials expected flooding to continue into the evening. Dozens of roads have been closed across the state.

Electric utilities across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were busy restoring service to tens of thousands of customers who lost power due to high winds.

In Vermont the number was more than 44,000 customers were without power Friday morning. In New Hampshire, about 16,000 customers were without power, and in Maine it was more than 130,000.

Many schools across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine delayed or canceled classes on Friday.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency warned that some residents will likely be in the dark into the weekend following winds that topped 70 mph in the coastal town of Castine.

The state’s largest utility, Central Maine Power, was getting help from crews for other utilities, including some in Canada, and is trying to line up even more help, but is struggling because there’s damage all over the region.

The storm comes two weeks after a similar storm left more than 200,000 homes and businesses in the dark in Maine.

In Orono, the state’s flagship university was again without power after coping with major outages during the October storm. The University of Maine announced Friday morning that it was closed, and classes were canceled until 5 p.m.

The Valley News contributed to this report.




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