October Snowstorm for Northeast to Go Down in Record Books

October 31, 2011; 10:20 AM ET
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A historic October snowstorm struck the Northeast this past weekend with record-smashing snowfall, knocking out power to millions, snarling travel and causing school cancellations.

The storm was a classic nor'easter churning up the Atlantic Seaboard and pulling in moisture from the ocean, dropping snow from the Virginias and Maryland to Maine.

Cold enough air was pulled into the storm from the northwest to support snow. With the rapid strengthening of the storm, there was also a ton of rising motion and resultant cooling of air that helped further support the very early season snowfall.

More than a foot of snow thumped across northeastern Pennsylvania, southern New York, northwestern New Jersey, western and northern Connecticut, western and central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Some of the highest elevations of western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire were buried by more than 2 feet of snow as the storm intensified off the Northeast Coast late on Saturday and Saturday night.

Some of the heaviest snow totals include: Peru, Mass., 32.0 inches; Jaffrey, N.H., 31.4 inches; Plainfield, Mass., 30.8 inches; Chesterfield, Mass., 28.0 inches.

RELATED: Record Snow Amounts Smashed in the Northeast

The weight of the heavy, wet snow on leaf-bearing trees caused significant damage. Some trees came crashing down onto homes and cars with many falling onto power lines.

A tree split then crashed down, causing damage to two or three homes in Berks County, Pa. Photo submitted by AccuWeather.com Facebook Fan Steve K. For more photos of the Northeast snowstorm, click here.

High winds also walloped New England as the storm raced away on Sunday, adding to the stress on trees and power lines. The highest gusts topped 60 mph along the New England Coast.

An 84-year-old man died when a tree smashed into his house in Berks County, Pa., where he was resting on a recliner. Another 20-year-old man was electrocuted by live wires that were downed by snow in the Springfield, Mass., area.

A child was injured by a fallen tree branch in Roseland, N.J., on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports that the total number of power outages from the storm is more than 3 million. Thousands will be without power for days, dealing with chilly weather gripping the Northeast in the wake of the storm.

According to the AP, at least four hospitals in Connecticut were relying on generators for power on Sunday.

During the height of the storm, several accidents resulted from poor roadway conditions and low visibility, including a pile-up crash along I-80 in Greene Township, Pa., on Saturday.

Even after the snow was finished, black ice led to treacherous travel across portions of the mid-Atlantic early on Sunday. Icy conditions were blamed for a deadly multiple-vehicle accident along I-95 north of Philadelphia.

Flights were delayed at the major Northeast airports from Philadelphia to Boston and Portland as the storm slammed the region. At one point, flights were delayed by more than five hours at the JFK International Airport in New York City.

While many kids may have enjoyed the early snow, many may not have liked it messing with trick-or-treating plans for Halloween.

Many schools from New Jersey through New England have delayed opening or are closed early this week.

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