East Coast on alert as nor’easter slams region with heavy rain, wind

Date: 2021-10-27 03:50:42

A nor’easter’s heavy rains were causing “life threatening flash flooding” and prompting water rescues in northern New Jersey on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said, as the storm threatened more flooding and power outages elsewhere throughout the day.The storm, expected to deliver powerful winds and about 2 to 6 inches of rain in short order over several states, led the governors of New Jersey and New York to declare states of emergency in advance, just weeks after Hurricane Ida left severe flooding there in early September.More than 3.5 inches of rain had already fallen across parts of New Jersey just west and south of New York City by 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, reports to the weather service indicated, and up to 2 more inches were possible there through the morning.High water rescues, numerous road closures and rising rivers have been reported in the region, the weather service said, including rescues reported in New Jersey’s northern Monmouth County.Flash flood warnings — indicating flooding was happening or was to begin shortly — were issued for cities including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Somerset, and Morristown. Flash flood watches were in effect Tuesday for eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and parts of New York and southern New England, with rain expected into Tuesday evening or early Wednesday.Minor coastal flooding is also expected in the normally prone areas along the east coast of Massachusetts; however, beach erosion may be more problematic. Strong winds over several tide cycles will likely lead to scattered erosion at many east and northeast-facing beaches through midweek.The National Weather Service has posted a coastal flood advisory for both the Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon high tides. Extreme winds expected to knock out powerDamaging winds are expected to blow down trees and power lines in some areas. A high wind warning was in place for parts of eastern Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.The strongest winds in New York will be Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning. “Widespread power outages are expected,” the National Weather Service said. “Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy provider, warned that more than 100,000 customers could lose power in the storm, as early season nor’easters present a greater risk to power lines because the leaves are still on the trees.”When trees still have most of their leaves, the risk of tree-caused outages with a nor’easter is much higher,” according to Sean Redding, an Eversource vegetation management official. “Weighed down by the rain, the leaves act like a sail, causing the tree to bend with the wind.”At their peak, gusts could range from 60-75 mph over Cape Cod, Nantucket and coastal Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Tuesday night. What is a nor’easter?A nor’easter is a storm along the East Coast with winds typically coming from the northeast, according to the National Weather Service. The storms can occur at any time of year but are most common between September and April.In winter, temperatures associated with a nor’easter can be much more extreme than in the fall, which can lead to more intense storms and snow. The storms can cause beach erosion and rough ocean conditions, with winds of 58 mph or more.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the New York City subway and other transit lines, was expecting several inches of rain over 12 hours, but nothing like Hurricane Ida, which caused severe flooding in the region in early September.”At no point do we expect to see the type of intense rainfall over a very short term that we had during Hurricane Ida,” MTA’s acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, noting the city saw more than 3.5 inches in one hour during Ida.”But, we are prepared for whatever comes,” Lieber added.The biggest issue and constraint the MTA faces is the city sewers, which can be overwhelmed as they were during Ida, Lieber said, but they don’t expect it to be an issue during the storm.

A nor’easter’s heavy rains were causing “life threatening flash flooding” and prompting water rescues in northern New Jersey on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said, as the storm threatened more flooding and power outages elsewhere throughout the day.

The storm, expected to deliver powerful winds and about 2 to 6 inches of rain in short order over several states, led the governors of New Jersey and New York to declare states of emergency in advance, just weeks after Hurricane Ida left severe flooding there in early September.

More than 3.5 inches of rain had already fallen across parts of New Jersey just west and south of New York City by 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, reports to the weather service indicated, and up to 2 more inches were possible there through the morning.

High water rescues, numerous road closures and rising rivers have been reported in the region, the weather service said, including rescues reported in New Jersey’s northern Monmouth County.

Flash flood warnings — indicating flooding was happening or was to begin shortly — were issued for cities including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Somerset, and Morristown.

Flash flood watches were in effect Tuesday for eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and parts of New York and southern New England, with rain expected into Tuesday evening or early Wednesday.

Minor coastal flooding is also expected in the normally prone areas along the east coast of Massachusetts; however, beach erosion may be more problematic. Strong winds over several tide cycles will likely lead to scattered erosion at many east and northeast-facing beaches through midweek.

The National Weather Service has posted a coastal flood advisory for both the Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon high tides.

Extreme winds expected to knock out power

Damaging winds are expected to blow down trees and power lines in some areas. A high wind warning was in place for parts of eastern Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The strongest winds in New York will be Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning.

“Widespread power outages are expected,” the National Weather Service said. “Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”

Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy provider, warned that more than 100,000 customers could lose power in the storm, as early season nor’easters present a greater risk to power lines because the leaves are still on the trees.

“When trees still have most of their leaves, the risk of tree-caused outages with a nor’easter is much higher,” according to Sean Redding, an Eversource vegetation management official. “Weighed down by the rain, the leaves act like a sail, causing the tree to bend with the wind.”

At their peak, gusts could range from 60-75 mph over Cape Cod, Nantucket and coastal Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Tuesday night.

What is a nor’easter?

A nor’easter is a storm along the East Coast with winds typically coming from the northeast, according to the National Weather Service. The storms can occur at any time of year but are most common between September and April.

In winter, temperatures associated with a nor’easter can be much more extreme than in the fall, which can lead to more intense storms and snow. The storms can cause beach erosion and rough ocean conditions, with winds of 58 mph or more.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the New York City subway and other transit lines, was expecting several inches of rain over 12 hours, but nothing like Hurricane Ida, which caused severe flooding in the region in early September.

“At no point do we expect to see the type of intense rainfall over a very short term that we had during Hurricane Ida,” MTA’s acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, noting the city saw more than 3.5 inches in one hour during Ida.

“But, we are prepared for whatever comes,” Lieber added.

The biggest issue and constraint the MTA faces is the city sewers, which can be overwhelmed as they were during Ida, Lieber said, but they don’t expect it to be an issue during the storm.


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