March 7, 2013 / 5:18 PM / 4 years ago

Windy, snowy winter storm floods coastal New England, mid-Atlantic

By Daniel Lovering
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 7 (Reuters) - A slow moving winter
storm lumbered across New England and the mid-Atlantic states on
Thursday, plopping heavy, wet snow and blowing strong winds
blamed for coastal flooding and flight cancellations.
    Expected to hang around the East Coast overnight, the storm
was forecast to slather central New England with as much as 6
inches (15 cm) of glue-like snow and the New York City area with
up to 3 inches (8 cm), enough to snarl the Friday morning
commute, said meteorologist Mark Mancuso on Accuweather.com.
    Those forecasts paled in comparison with what the storm left
behind on Wednesday in Sugar Grove, West Virginia, where 14.8
inches (37.6 cm) was recorded and in Chicago, where 9 inches (23
cm) marked the city's biggest snowstorm in two years, the
National Weather Service said.
    In Cambridge, Massachusetts, pedestrians wearing heavy
winter coats trudged along slushy sidewalks and cars drove
slowly.
   "I'm not happy about having more snow," said Nina Allen, 65,
a college professor. "I've been ready for spring since the first
of the year."
   A dangerous combination of blasting winds and sticky snow,
blamed for 150,000 power outages in nine states near the
Appalachian Mountains on Wednesday before the storm moved north,
brought down tree limbs and caused a relative handful of outages
- about 1,000 customers - in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
early Thursday, said Deborah Drew, a spokeswoman for National
Grid.
    "Combine the heavy wet snow with those strong winds, which
are blowing 50-60 miles per hour (80-97 kmh) over southeastern
Massachusetts and the Cape, that's going to lead to power
outages," forecaster Mancuso said.
    High winds were blamed for tidal surges that caused coastal
flooding on Thursday along the Massachusetts coast and in Jersey
Shore towns still drying out from Superstorm Sandy. A renewed
threat of flooding was expected at high tide on Friday morning,
Mancuso said.
    "Tomorrow morning's high tide could be a real big problem
around the east coast of Massachusetts and right down into the
Cape Cod area. Looks like potential for more coastal flooding
tomorrow as well," Mancuso said.
    On the Jersey Shore on Thursday, flooding shut Route 35 in
Mantoloking, which in February became the last town to open
after Sandy ravaged the coastline in October, according to the
municipality's website. The arrival of high tide also submerged
streets in Long Beach Island, a barrier island further south,
although water was receding by mid-morning, said Richard Crane,
the borough manager of Beach Haven.
    Flightaware.com said the brutal weather caused the
cancellation on Thursday of more than 200 flights in and out of
airports in the New York area, Boston, Washington and Baltimore.

 (Additional reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Barbara
Goldberg and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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