April snowstorm knocks out power across Northeast
By Jesús Jiménez and Eduardo Medina
Nearly 300,000 customers were without power across the Northeast on Tuesday as a strong spring storm swept across New York state and other parts of the region.
Winter storm warnings from the National Weather Service were in effect for several counties in central and northern New York state. Many of them were set to expire in the afternoon.
Heavy, wet snow could bring down tree limbs and cause power outages, the service said, and travel could be “very difficult.” Wind gusts up to 40 mph were also a concern.
By Tuesday afternoon, more than 196,000 utility customers in New York were without power, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the United States. More than 48,000 customers were still without power in Pennsylvania, as were 24,000 in Maine and about 17,000 in Vermont.
Areas around central New York, including Otsego and Northern Oneida, were expected to receive additional snow accumulations of up to 6 inches Tuesday. The storm’s total snowfall was expected to range from 8-14 inches. Farther north, the southern Adirondacks could receive up to 18 inches total.
With eyes toward additional snow accumulations Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul advised residents to check their local forecast and to “use caution on the roads.” The New York State Department of Transportation on Twitter described the roads as “messy” and advised people to stay home if they could.
In Broome County, New York, on the border with Pennsylvania, County Executive Jason Garnar declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning. He also issued a travel ban for all nonessential personnel. By 10 a.m., more than 14 inches of snow had already fallen in Binghamton.
Parts of south-central Pennsylvania had received up to 8 inches of snow Monday, while the central portions of the state received about 2 inches, said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the weather service.
Natalie Walters, 54, of Syracuse, said she was walking by her lilies and hydrangeas Monday afternoon with her dog Homer, hoping the snow would not damage the buds. Still, she said, snowfall would mean a welcome delayed start to classes Tuesday at the elementary school in Syracuse where she works as a teacher.
New York City was spared from snow, but the rain that fell there Monday persisted into Tuesday morning, with wind gusts of up to 40 mph, according to the forecast.
The weather service in State College, Pennsylvania, said Monday afternoon that some roadways were impassible because of heavy snow. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also reported several multivehicle crashes on Twitter, saying that speed limits had been reduced on several roadways across the state because of bad weather.
The weather service office in State College later said that heavy snow, falling at 1-2 inches per hour, was expected to spread northward across the northeastern part of the state early Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t consider this to be a normal snowfall,” said Robert Deal, a meteorologist with the weather service in Binghampton, New York, noting its timing nearly a month after the start of spring. “That’s definitely reaching towards the higher end of totals.”
Dan Thompson, a meteorologist for the weather service in Albany, New York, said parts of Troy, Albany and Saratoga Springs would receive a thin coating of up to 2 inches of snow.
Lily Chapman, a meteorologist for the weather service in Binghamton, said that snowstorms were not uncommon in April, but she added that people in the Northeast might not have an appetite for snow in the spring.
“After we’ve had such pretty nice weather, I think maybe people are probably not really in the mood at this point for it or ready to deal with it,” Chapman said. “Just be prepared to maybe have to shovel and for a sloppy commute, possibly.”