Deadly April storm batters Northeast, snarling travel and knocking out power to half a million

A powerful April storm is hitting the Northeast on Thursday, dumping rain and snow with howling tropical force winds, prompting major airport delays and whiteout road conditions, and knocking out power to over half a million customers.

The strong storm system has been crawling across the U.S. since the weekend — and has already led to several weather-related deaths.

In Pennsylvania, two people died in separate incidents in which a tree fell on the car they were in during Wednesday’s storms. An elderly man died in Delaware County, and an elderly woman, described as in her early 80s, was also killed in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, NBC Philadelphia reported.

As of Thursday morning, the system is making its way out of the Northeast, with 5 million people under wind alerts across New England and 8 million under winter alerts.

The system will produce heavy, wet snow over north-central New England and northeast New York and pass through Maine on Thursday, the National Weather Service Prediction Center forecast. An additional 12 inches of snowfall is possible through Friday.

A woman exits a tornado-damaged building Wednesday in Sunbright, Tenn.Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

The system will create “significant impacts from heavy snow and wind,” and perilous travel due to whiteout conditions, snow-covered roads, tree damage and power outages, the NWS said.

Disrupted travel, crashes and power outages

Air travel has already been affected, with over 1,200 delays and over 300 cancellations inside, into or out of the U.S. reported, according to Flight Aware data — all amid a week of busy spring break bookings.

The storm system has also wreaked havoc on roads.

In New Hampshire, state troopers responded to three tractor-trailer rollover crashes in less than seven hours by late Wednesday. State police urged locals “to avoid unnecessary travel.” Massachusetts State Police also responded to multiple crashes Wednesday evening, describing road conditions as “poor.”

Powerful winds have whipped through the region since Wednesday, downing power lines and trees.

Nationally, over 500,000 customers are without power — including over 235,000 in Maine, 53,000 in West Virginia and over 51,000 in New York as of 8:30 a.m., according to

In New Hampshire as of early Thursday, more than 100,000 customers were without power, the state’s division of homeland security and emergency management said. The agency’s State Emergency Operations Center has been activated in response to the storm.

New York State Electric and Gas, which serves the upstate region, said Wednesday’s severe weather led to 180 downed wires and more than 30 broken poles.

“NYSEG pre-staged more than 2,100 additional line workers and tree personnel across its service areas in preparation for the storm and are currently shifting resources to support its hardest hit areas,” the company said.

Utility company National Grid said it was responding to stormy conditions in upstate New York by increasing staffing, extending overnight shifts, bringing in additional resources from other states and Canada, and pre-staging crews in areas anticipated to be “most severely impacted.”

In Brookfield, Connecticut, a mother and her three kids narrowly escaped injury Wednesday when stormy winds caused a tree to fall on their car, completely crushing it.

In Maine, where heavy snow is forecast, Gov. Janet Mills directed all state offices to be closed Thursday and urged locals to “take proper precautions and to prepare for possible power outages.”

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