Hundreds of thousands of people on Tuesday faced power outages that could take days to restore after a coastal storm hit the northeast with whipping winds and downpours.
Nearly 600,000 customers in New England were without power early Tuesday, according to PowerOutage.us, which tracks the utility industry.
Most of the outages occurred in Maine, where more than 430,000 customers were affected as of 7:30 a.m. In Massachusetts, primarily in the eastern part of the state, more than 130,000 customers experienced a power outage, and about 28,000 more in Connecticut.
National Grid in Massachusetts said in a statement on social media on Monday that it had about 2,000 workers responding to storm damage by cutting down trees and repairing electrical infrastructure. While some customers complained about possible days of waiting for their power to be restored, the company said it was normal for estimated restoration times to fluctuate depending on the volume of work, the cause of the damage and other factors.
Central Maine Power said on Facebook Monday that it also anticipated a multi-day restoration effort involving hundreds of line and tree crews. The company said strong winds in the area prevented some crews from using flatbed trucks for repairs.
By Tuesday morning, it was clear that power outages would continue to disrupt the routines of communities across Maine. Dozens of school districts across the state were closed or operating behind schedule. Some hospitals continued to face complications Tuesday, including Northern Light Health, a network of 10 hospitals and more than 100 health care facilities across the state.
A company spokesperson told WABI 5, a local media outlet, that power outages may cause some patients who rely on electricity for home care to flock to hospitals, preventing staff from caring for those who require emergency care.
The storm also caused damage in Canada, where nearly 175,000 homes in four provinces were also without power early Tuesday.
The coastal storm, which hit South Carolina and North Carolina over the weekend, turned deadly as it moved north along the East Coast on Monday with damaging winds and flooding.
An 89-year-old man in Massachusetts died when the wind toppled a large tree. In Maine, a 40-year-old man was killed by a falling tree while trying to clean his roof.
At one point, the storm left more than 750,000 customers without power in New England, New York and New Jersey.
Weather conditions were also so bad that residents of Moretown, Vermont, population 1,675, were asked to evacuate their homes due to river flooding, according to local officials.
Further south, the storm snarled traffic and disrupted public transportation in and around New York City on Monday. Several commuter rail lines operated with long delays, as did buses in all five boroughs.
The Verrazzano Bridge, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn, was also temporarily closed early Monday morning. When it reopened hours later, trucks with trailers, minibuses, vans, motorcycles and similar vehicles were banned from use due to strong winds.
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