Fierce storm bearing down on northeast US states brings hurricane-force winds and snow

Harriet Agerholm

A fierce storm is lashing the northeast of the US with hurricane-force winds and heavy snow that have brought widespread power cuts.

The third major storm to hit the region in two weeks has buried some towns beneath 2 feet (0.61 metres) of snow on Tuesday at a time when residents were preparing for spring.

“The groundhog was right. Six more weeks of winter, and probably then some,” Paul Knight, of Portland, Maine, said.

Satellite captures storm over the East Coast on Tuesday (NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS))

The National Weather Service said Derry, New Hampshire, was blanketed in 25 inches of snow (63 centimetres), while there was 20 inches (51 centimetres) of snow in Burrillville, Rhode Island, and Kezar Falls, Maine.

High winds and blowing snow led meteorologists to categorise the storm as a blizzard in parts of New England, including Boston. Gusts approached 70 mph on Cape Cod, the weather service said.

At one point, more than a quarter of a million people were without power in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Electricity companies said they would have extra crews out on Wednesday to restore power to those still without it.

Amtrak suspended all services on Tuesday between Boston and New York City. The rail company later announced that most services between the two cities would resume on Wednesday.

Road and air travel were also disrupted. Icy roads were blamed for at least one death in North Carolina, and the tracking site FlightAware reported more than 1,500 cancelled flights.

Associated Press contributed to this report