Northeast dealing with brutal cold after ‘bomb cyclone’

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Dangerously cold weather is expected to hammer the Northeast and Midwest this weekend.

Temperatures will rise to only the single digits and teens during the day, then drop to near or below zero at night.

The wind chill will make it feel far colder: as low as 20 to 40 degrees below zero in parts of the Northeast.

The brutal cold comes after a “bomb cyclone” moved out. The one-two punch of dangerously frigid temperatures and gusty winds knocked out power to tens of thousands on the East Coast, dumped more than a foot of snow across eight states and deluged streets in Massachusetts with icy water.

Strong winds remain in the Northeast, challenging crews who are trying to restore power and disruptions to indoor heating — a major concern with the dangerously chilly conditions.

The storm heaped plenty of misery across the region. Waves from the sea washed into Boston streets. And the tide in the city — 15.16 feet — broke the record set during the blizzard of 1978, the National Weather Service said.

Latest developments

  • Outages: More than 5,100 customers in the East were without power, according to reports from 11 states.
  • Deadly conditions: At least 19 people have died this week because of severe weather, officials said. Six deaths were reported in Wisconsin, four in Texas, three in North Carolina, and one each in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia.
  • Frozen dead on porch: Among the dead was a 64-year-old man whose body was found lying in front of his wheelchair Tuesday afternoon on the porch of his Akron, Ohio, house. He died of hypothermia, authorities said. Temperatures had been in the single digits that morning, and a Meals on Wheels driver discovered him.
  • Freezing cold: Low temperatures and wind chills will be threats. Dozens of record lows could be set over the weekend along the East Coast, including in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

Emerging from the storm

The storm flooded streets in some communities in coastal Massachusetts, turning roads into slushy rivers. On Friday, areas were freezing over.

“We’ll use a big pump (to) move some of the ice around, but we really have to wait for the weather to warm up,” said Rob Reardon, captain of the fire department in Duxbury, about 35 miles southeast of Boston.

Thursday, firefighters and the National Guard scrambled to rescue dozens of coastal residents stranded by freezing water pushing from the Atlantic. First responders braved the frigid waters using rubber rescue boats and high-water vehicles.

In Hull, just southeast of Boston, the icy mess inundated streets, with water above the wheel wells of cars and coming up to the doors of homes.

Some residents were forced to flee. In one case, the fire department used a front-loader to rescue a woman from the second floor of her home, photos from neighbor Jennifer Olivieri show.

In Marshfield, also southeast of Boston, National Guard troops used a truck to take people out of homes surrounded by floodwaters.

“There was a lot of water outside,” Alex Cametti, who was rescued, told CNN affiliate WBZ. “It looked like there was about 2 feet, and there (were) cars outside almost completely underwater. And there was water coming in the back door, right into the kitchen.”

In Boston, police said almost 500 were towed because of the weather. A sewer main break in Nantucket poured more than 1 million gallons of sewage into the harbor and led the board of health to close some nearby restaurants.

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia reported at least a foot of snow Thursday.

Dedham, Massachusetts, had 19 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Meanwhile, 18.3 inches fell in Bangor, Maine; 13.4 inches came down in Boston; 9 inches covered the ground in Manhattan; 10.2 fell in Hartford, Connecticut; and 14.1 inches were measured in Providence, Rhode Island.

Travel disrupted on East Coast

More than 1,400 flights have been canceled Friday, following the 4,300-plus called off a day earlier, the tracking service FlightAware said.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport resumed flights Friday morning. Travel disruptions affected Greyhound buses and Amtrak, which reduced or canceled service.

Hundreds of air passengers spent Thursday night sleeping in the terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport after their New York-bound flights were diverted, CNN affiliate WJLA reported. Most of the passengers were placed on buses Friday and rode to New York.

Officials urged drivers to stay off the roads, saying too many cars were getting stuck.

With the snow largely over, cold air is settling through swaths of the Midwest and East Coast. Dozens of cities are set to endure record-breaking cold, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

“Temperatures will be falling through the day as Arctic airmass moves overhead,” the National Weather Service in Boston said via Twitter early Friday.

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