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Winter is coming. No that wasn’t a tagline for the hit HBO show Game of Thrones, winter really is coming. The Northeast region of the United States was hammered this weekend by a freak snowstorm that dropped up to 2 feet in some areas. The record setting October storm spanned across five states and cut off power to more than three million customers during the weekend.
On Monday morning there were still almost 2 million people without power and officials have reported that power may not be restored to all areas until Friday. Most of the damage to the power lines was caused by falling tree limbs. The limbs were more susceptible to falling because leaves still on the trees caught more snow, overloading the branches and eventually caused them to snap.
These overburden limbs have also done numerous amounts of damage to houses and cars as well as blocked several roads. The snowstorm has wreaked havoc and caused many transportation issues. Icy road conditions are being blamed for a 30 car pileup in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania on I-95.
Multiple railroad stations had to be shut down after hundreds of lines were covered with wire damage and toppled tree limbs. New Jersey Transit service on the Morris & Essex Lines is expected to be out until Tuesday and Amtrak service between major routes like Albany to Boston, New York City is out as well.
The snowstorm affected air travel the hardest. A JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale, FL was diverted to Hartford International Airport, and the passengers were stranded on the tarmac for an excruciating eight hours. The pilot of the flight became inundated with problems after the plane could no longer supply running water and food.
Passengers began to fight one another and the pilot had to call for police support multiple times. The freak snowstorm is also supposedly the culprit for more serious damage as the snowstorm is being blamed for up to 13 deaths, although there are no reports as to what exactly caused the deaths as of now.
This issue has become so serious that President Barack Obama has signed an emergency declaration for Connecticut on Monday, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts. In Massachusetts, state officials said utility crews had come from as far as Louisiana and Texas to help.
If this snowstorm is any indication of what mother nature is going to throw at us this season, winter is definitely coming and it’s not going to pretty.