Cold sets in after storm; many lack power
Crews were working through the weekend to restore power.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- Thousands still lacked power across the Northeast on Saturday as temperatures plummeted after a storm with hurricane-force wind gusts that was blamed for four deaths.
Wind was still blowing at about 30 mph through the region Saturday. On Friday, wind of more than 60 mph buffeted the Rochester area and a 77-mph gust was recorded at the city's airport, the weather service said.
The storm swept out of the Midwest on Friday, carrying a wave of bitterly cold air. Temperatures in some parts of western New York plunged from 60 degrees to below freezing within a few hours. Hayward, Wis., had a morning low of 26 below zero and afternoon temperatures in the Upper Midwest were only in the single digits Saturday. Parts of Arkansas had 5.5 inches of snow Saturday and freezing conditions extended across the state.
Utility officials in upstate New York said crews would work through the weekend to restore power to 160,000 customers, down from at least 328,000 customers who were blacked out Friday.
More than 40,000 homes and businesses had no electricity in New Hampshire, where shelters offered residents a haven with light and heat as temperatures were expected to drop below zero during the night.
More than 35,000 homes and businesses lacked power Saturday in Maine. Vermont, where the National Weather Service reported a wind gust of 143 mph on Stratton Mountain, had about 12,000 customers without power, and some 1,800 customers were blacked out in Massachusetts.
The wind toppled trees in many areas.
Alfred Binder, 87, was unhurt when a huge tree fell across a road and hit his car in Laconia, N.H.
"I swerved to the left, but I couldn't miss it," he told WMUR-TV. "I tried."
A falling tree crushed a car outside Rochester, killing a 52-year-old woman, and another killed a state worker in a truck at Saratoga Spa State Park. A falling tree killed the driver of a pickup at Billerica, Mass. East of Rochester, a man was killed when his vehicle slammed into a tractor-trailer whose driver had stopped to clear storm debris from his windshield.