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Major cleanup underway after storm batters Northeastern US, knocks out power and floods roads – Monomaxos


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Utility crews worked Tuesday to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Maine and some rivers continued to rise in New England following a powerful storm that hit the northeastern U.S., drenching communities and bringing windspeeds over 60 mph (96 kph) in some areas. At least four people were killed.

“We anticipate a multi-day restoration effort involving hundreds of line and tree crews,” Central Maine Power, the state’s largest utility, posted online Monday night.

Many communities were saturated, with some getting well over 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain during the storm. Some towns in Vermont, which had suffered major flooding from a storm in July, were seeing more flood damage. Some school districts remained closed in the region Tuesday.

More than 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain fell in parts of New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, and parts of several other states got more than 4 inches (10 centimeters), according to the National Weather Service. Streets were flooded in some communities. Wind gusts reached nearly 70 mph (113 kph) along the southern New England shoreline.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills delayed the opening of state offices until midday Tuesday to allow time for power restoration and cleanup efforts from the storm, which took down many trees and closed roads. One office building in Augusta will remain closed to remove scaffolding damaged by the storm.

“If you must travel, please exercise caution and be sure to provide plenty of room for emergency first responders and for crews that are restoring power and clearing roadways,” Mills said in a statement urging people to stay off the roads, if possible.

Vehicles splash through high waters on a flooded road in Schwenksville, Pa., Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Vehicles splash through high waters on a flooded road in Schwenksville, Pa., Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Maine had over 430,000 customers without power as of early Tuesday, half of its utility customer base, according to Poweroutage.us.

Some rivers in the region crested. The Androscoggin River in Rumford, Maine, reached a maximum stage of 22 feet (6.7 meters) in a 24-hour period ending early Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. Flood stage is 15 feet (4.6 meters). The river was expected to fall below flood stage Tuesday afternoon.

A home is surrounded by floodwaters from the Perkiomen Creek in Collegeville, Pa., Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A home is surrounded by floodwaters from the Perkiomen Creek in Collegeville, Pa., Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Kennebec River at Augusta was at 20 feet and still rising. It was expected to reach a crest of 25 feet Thursday evening, the weather service said. Flood stage is 12 feet.

Five months after flooding inundated Vermont’s capital city of Montpelier, water entered the basements of some downtown businesses as the city monitored the level of the Winooski River, officials said.

A worker clears debris from a storm drain in Collingdale, Pa., Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. A storm moving up the East Coast has brought heavy rain and high winds to the Northeast, threatening flooding, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands, and forcing flight cancelations and school closings. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A worker clears debris from a storm drain in Collingdale, Pa., Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. A storm moving up the East Coast has brought heavy rain and high winds to the Northeast, threatening flooding, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands, and forcing flight cancelations and school closings. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Three people were rescued from a home in Jamaica and another in Waterbury when that person’s vehicle was swept away by floodwaters, said Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison at a press conference with the governor. Several shelters were set up.

A numbers of roads were also closed around the state due to flooding, including in Londonderry and Ludlow, the southern Vermont communities that were hit hard by flooding in July.

First responders move to put away their equipment after a person stranded by the floodwaters of the Perkiomen Creek near Graterford Road in Collegeville, Pa., was rescued, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

First responders move to put away their equipment after a person stranded by the floodwaters of the Perkiomen Creek near Graterford Road in Collegeville, Pa., was rescued, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

“Although there will be damage to infrastructure, homes and businesses, we do not expect this to be the same scale as July,” said Gov. Phil Scott. “That being said, some of the places that were impacted in July are currently experiencing flooding once again. So for them, this is July and it’s a real gut punch.”

Early in the storm, the weather service issued flood and flash-flood warnings for New York City and the surrounding area, parts of Pennsylvania, upstate New York, western Connecticut, western Massachusetts and parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

An 89-year-old Hingham, Massachusetts, man was killed early Monday when high winds caused a tree to fall on a trailer, authorities said. In Windham, Maine, police said part of a tree fell and killed a man who was removing debris from his roof.

The water level of the Deerfield River creeps up to the edge of Route 100 in Wilmington, Vt., on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, after a heavy storm dropped a couple of inches of rain. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

The water level of the Deerfield River creeps up to the edge of Route 100 in Wilmington, Vt., on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, after a heavy storm dropped a couple of inches of rain. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

In Catskill, New York, a driver was killed after the vehicle went around a barricade on a flooded road and was swept into the Catskill Creek, the Times Union reported. A man was pronounced dead in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, after he was found in a submerged vehicle Monday morning.

On Sunday in South Carolina, one person died when their vehicle flooded on a road in a gated community in Mount Pleasant.

___

Rathke reported from Marshfield, Vermont. Associated Press reporters David Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire, Bruce Shipkowski and Michael Catalini in Trenton, New Jersey, Michael Casey in Boston and Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this story.





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