(Corrects location in 9th para to Prospect, Connecticut, not
Prospect, Rhode Island)
* 2,000 flights canceled, record snow in Maine
* Mail delivery suspended; snow plows stuck
* Nuclear power plant loses power
By Tim McLaughlin and Edith Honan
BOSTON/NEW YORK, Feb 9 A record-breaking
blizzard packing hurricane-force winds pummeled the northeastern
United States on Saturday, causing at least two storm-related
deaths, cutting power to 700,000 homes and businesses and
shutting down travel.
The mammoth storm that stretched from the Great Lakes to the
Atlantic coast dumped more than 3 feet (90 cm) of snow across
the Northeast, the National Weather Service said. Blizzard and
flood warnings were in effect for the coast.
In Stratford, Connecticut, Mayor John Harkins said he had
never seen such a heavy snowfall, with rates of 6 inches (12.5
cm) an hour at times overnight, he told local WTNH television.
"Even the plows are getting stuck," Harkins said.
The storm concentrated its fury on Connecticut, Rhode Island
and Massachusetts, with the top snowfall 38 inches (95 cm) in
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee banned all travel on
roads in order to aid snow plow crews. He told CNN that National
Guard troops were rescuing stranded motorists, especially at
The mammoth storm dumped 29.3 inches (73.2 cm) of snow on
Portland, Maine, breaking a 1979 record, and the weather service
said there is more on the way.
Police in New York's Suffolk County turned to snowmobiles
in some cases to rescue hundreds of motorists stuck overnight on
the Long Island Expressway, said police spokesman Rich Glanzer.
Some spent the night in their cars.
In Poughkeepsie, New York, a man in his 70s was killed when
a driver lost control of her car and hit him, media reported. An
80-year-old woman clearing her driveway in Prospect,
Connecticut, died on Friday when she was struck by a hit-and-run
driver, a spokesman for state emergency services said.
A 30-year-old motorist in Auburn, New Hampshire, died when
his car went off the road, but the man's health, and not the
weather, might have been a factor in the accident, state
POWER LINES DOWN
Utility companies reported about 700,000 customers without
electricity across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut
as the wet, heavy snow brought down tree branches and power
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts,
lost power and shut down automatically late on Friday, but there
was no threat to the public, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Almost 2,000 flights were canceled on Saturday, according to
FlightAware, which tracks airline delays. Boston's Logan
International Airport and Bradley International Airport in
Windsor Locks, Connecticut, were shut down.
The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to
taper off from West to East into the afternoon. Snowfall is
forecast to total from 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) in eastern
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency
Management Agency, said coastal communities were being evacuated
from Salisbury to Hull because of feared flooding from a high
tide combined with a storm surge.
Offshore waves were expected to reach 30 feet (9 m), he
The heavy snowfall was backed by winds that gusted to 83
miles an hour (133 km an hour) at Cuttyhunk, New York, and
brought down trees across the region, the weather service said.
The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut,
New York and Maine declared a state of emergency before the
storm. The U.S. Postal Service suspended mail delivery in the
six New England states.
Amtrak suspended rail service between New York, Boston and
points north on Friday afternoon.
The town of Gorham, Maine, was buried under 33 inches (82.5
cm) of snow, and Philip Gagnon, chairman of the town council,
said many roads would not be cleared until late Sunday or
"We've had our crews out since yesterday morning," he said.
"It's going to probably take some time because they can only do
so much before we can rest them," he said.
Fashion Week in New York went on unfazed as crowds of people
arrived to watch the morning's shows by Ruffian and LaCoste.
Andrea Daney said she was trying to be discreet as she
changed from snow boots to high-heeled crushed blue velvet ankle
"I'm calling it the shoe storm of the century," said Daney,
a digital marketing senior manager for LaCoste. "You have to
make adjustments to your outfit."
(Additional reporting by Scott Malone in Boston, Kevin Gray in
Miami, Ellen Wulfhorst in New York, Ian Simpson in Washington,
Jason McLure in Maine, and Dan Burns in Connecticut; Editing by
Vicki Allen and Gunna Dickson)