March 12, 2018 / 5:29 AM / 2 years ago

U.S. northeast braces for third powerful storm in two weeks

(Reuters) - The third nor’easter to hit parts of the U.S. northeast in two weeks was expected to start late on Monday and Amtrak said it would suspend service on Tuesday between Boston and New York, as the storm could bring high winds, a foot or more of snow and power outages.

“This storm won’t be as widespread as before,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. “It’ll hit New England the hardest.”

The railroad said the service suspension would last until at least 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday and that service would resume when weather conditions allowed. The storm was expected to continue into Tuesday. Amtrak said it would also cancel some trains running from New York to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Boston declared a snow emergency and announced a parking ban beginning on Monday at 7 p.m on major roads. The city said Boston Public Schools, libraries and other city services would be closed on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service said parts of Massachusetts could get up to 18 inches of snow and issued a coastal flood warning.

Certain storms are classified as nor’easters because their strong winds typically are from the northeast, and they tend to occur most frequently and most violently between September and April along North America’s East Coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some nor’easters carry hurricane-force winds.

Storms on March 2 and 7 left at least 9 people dead across the region, some 2 million homes and businesses without power, and flooding in the streets of Boston.

Other areas that were severely affected in the previous two storms, including parts of New York, New Jersey and Maryland will see only one-to-four inches of snow this time around, Chenard said.

Blizzard conditions are possible and power outages are a threat for parts of Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, which are under the Winter Storm Watch from Monday evening to Tuesday afternoon, he said.

“Coastal areas could see 40 or 50 mph winds,” he said. “The snow will be wet. Combined with the wind, it presents a serious risk of power outages.”

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Toni Reinhold

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