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Reports: Bomb cyclone cuts power to half a million as it wallops northeastern US

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
March 02, 2018, 11:31:26 AM EST

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As of 11:30 a.m. EST Friday, this reports story is no longer being updated. For the latest on the nor'easter, click here.

Damaging winds, coastal flooding and heavy snow will impact the northeastern United States through Friday due to a potent bomb cyclone.

Strong winds will howl across the region and may contribute to power outages from North Carolina to Maine. The strongest winds will likely be along the coast of eastern Massachusetts, where they will reach hurricane-force strength.

The strong onshore winds will lead to substantial coastal flooding and beach erosion in coastal areas.

Winds will not be as strong farther inland but can still contribute to power outages.

The heaviest snow is forecast over much of western New York and northern Pennsylvania, but several inches are possible in and around New York City.


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11:23 a.m. EST Friday:

Excessive winds overturned two tractor trailers on Interstate 95 Tydings Bridge, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Tydings and US Route 40 Hatem bridges have been closed due to wind. Northbound I-95 traffic is being detoured at Maryland Route 155 and southbound traffic at Maryland Route 222.

Tractor trailer



11:07 a.m. EST Friday:

Tides are now 2.7 feet above normal in Boston and there are reports of flooding, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Along the north side of New York City, tides are about 2.5 feet above normal.

There are blowout tides at Baltimore Inner Harbor where the tide is about 1 foot below average. Water is being pushed out of the harbor and to the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay, according to Sosnowski.



10:44 a.m. EST Friday:

Rainy conditions are making travel more difficult across the Northeast. AccuWeather Reporter Jonathan Petramala shows the conditions at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) this morning.



10:05 a.m. EST Friday:

Follow AccuWeather's live broadcast coverage of the nor'easter bringing numerous impacts to the Northeast. We'll have studio updates on the storm every 30 minutes via the Facebook Live post below.


8:54 a.m. EST Friday:

The speed limit on Interstate 90 in Massachusetts has been reduced due to poor weather conditions.


Traffic conditions are also worsening on I-81 near Scranton, Pennsylvania.



8:21 a.m. EST Friday:

Based on a 24-hour pressure change from 29.87 inches to 29.16 inches, the powerful storm slamming the Northeast has officially undergone bombogenesis, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.


Strong winds from the bomb cyclone have downed a massive tree at the University of Maryland's campus in College Park.

There have been at least 70 reports of downed trees and power lines due to wind damage in Virginia and Maryland, with most occurring in the Washington, D.C., area, according to NWS spotters.

There were 64 reports of wind-damaged trees and power lines in Massachusetts Friday morning, mainly around Boston.

Tree smashes truck in Fairfax, VA - 3-2-2018

Strong winds knocked a tree into a truck parked at an apartment complex in Fairfax, Virginia, just southwest of Washington, D.C. (Twitter photo/@lorenkaho)


Government offices in D.C. have closed due to the severe weather. At least 435,000 customers are now without power as a result of the bomb cyclone.



8:07 a.m. EST Friday:

Residents of Charlottesville, Virginia, are being impacted by power cuts, which have prompted Charlottesville City Schools to operate on a two-hour delay. Some schools in the area are also closed.



7:20 a.m. EST Friday:

Power outages continue to mount in Maryland, where more than 64,000 Maryland Utilities customers are now without power.


Wintry conditions are causing travel disruptions in Pennsylvania, where some highways, including I-90, are experiencing lane closures.


Drivers in New York are also dealing with slick travel conditions. New York State Police warned on Twitter that although roads may appear to be clear, travelers should exercise caution as roads may be slippery.


Rising floodwaters from Jamaica Bay are beginning to cover some streets in parts of Queens, New York.



7:01 a.m. EST Friday:

Heavy snow continues to fall across western New York as more than 18 inches of snow are being reported in East Aurora, New York, about 20 miles southeast of Buffalo.

Record-breaking snowfall has been reported in Buffalo, with 8.4 inches of snow observed at the airport thus far. This tops the previous record for this date, which was 6.5 inches of snowfall in 1914.

snowfall 3/2/2018



5:30 a.m. EST Friday:

All MARC Train Service has been suspended in Maryland as high winds have caused trees to fall on tracks.


At least seven counties in the state have announced school closings on Friday. Numerous counties in Virginia have also announced school closings due to the storm.

All federal offices in the Washington, D.C., metro area are also closed.


5:00 a.m. EST Friday:

Power outages continue to mount across the mid-Atlantic, with wind gusts of 55-65 mph reported across Maryland and Virginia.

Nearly 35,000 customers are without power in Maryland, according to the state's emergency management agency.

The fire department in Salisbury, Maryland, is responding to a transformer fire in the city, where wind gusts past 40 mph have been reported.


People commuting to work and school should use extreme caution as power lines and trees may block roads.


3:40 a.m. EST Friday:

Travel is extremely dangerous across interior portions of the Northeast as snow continues to fall at a rapid pace.

A majority of roads across New York state are completely covered with snow, according to 511NY.org.

NY Roads

A majority of roads across New York state are completely covered with snow, as indicated by the pink and red shading. (Image/511NY)


As much as 3 inches of snow have already fallen near Albany, New York, with snow expected to persist through Friday.


2 a.m. EST Friday:

High winds are roaring into the mid-Atlantic, including in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas.

In Kensington, Maryland, which lies just outside of the Capital Beltway, a 100-year-old resident was trapped in a bedroom after a tree fell on their house early Friday morning. According to Pete Piringer, chief spokesperson for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, the person was rescued and transported to an area hospital. There is no word on the extent of their injury.


Wind gusts have reached as high as 54 mph at Dulles International Airport. At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, winds are also picking up, with gusts to 44 mph.


12:45 a.m. EST Friday:

As winds continue to strengthen across the region, the number of power outages are mounting. In Pennsylvania, over 27,000 FirstEnergy Corp customers are without power, with that number expected to grow as gusty winds push across the state through Friday morning.

In southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia, as many as 26,000 Appalachian Power customers are in the dark.


11:30 p.m. EST Thursday:

Thundersnow has been reported in Erie, Pennsylvania, with wind gusts as high as 54 mph. There have also been reports of thunder near Buffalo, New York.


As much as 7-9 inches of snow have fallen across southwestern New York, with snow continuing to fall heavily. Portions of the state will be buried by over a foot of snow by the time the storm winds down late Friday. The combination of heavy, wet snow, as well as gusty winds, will weigh down trees and power lines.



10:11 p.m. EST Thursday:

Communities and businesses across the northeastern U.S. are bracing for the impacts from the strengthening bomb cyclone.

Over 1,000 flights have already been canceled at airports across the region for Friday, according to FlightStats, with that number likely to rise throughout Friday. People with flights scheduled across the region on Friday should check with their airlines before heading to the airport.

Voluntary evacuations have been issued for Plum Island, Massachusetts, ahead of the potentially historic storm, according to WBZ.


8:45 p.m. EST Thursday:

Power outages are starting to climb across Ohio as winds grow stronger. Sustained winds in Cleveland have been over 20 mph since 5 p.m. EST, with wind gusts occasionally blowing past 40 mph.

The number of outages may continue to climb in Ohio as strong winds continue through Thursday night.



7:58 p.m. EST Thursday:

Rain is transitioning to snow across western New York and northern Ohio, with a burst of heavy snow moving through Cleveland.

Franklinville, New York, has received at least 5 inches of snow, with snowfall rates of 2 inches an hour, according to a National Weather Service trained spotter.

Several inches of snow have accumulated around Detroit, covering many roads across the area.

snow michigan reed

Snow-covered roads in Walled Lake, Michigan, located just north of Detroit. (Photo/Reed Timmer)



6:30 p.m. EST Thursday:

Heavy snow is creating some travel delays and slick roads in Detroit.

Heavy snow has been falling in Detroit much of the afternoon, with Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport reporting over 300 flight delays so far today.



6 p.m. EST Thursday:

Wind advisories are in effect for areas across the northeastern U.S., including Suffern, New York. AccuWeather meteorologists are projecting winds to gust past 40 mph across much of the region, with some areas close to the coast potentially experiencing wind gusts past 60 mph.



2:20 p.m. EST Thursday:

The National Weather Service is expanding their watches, warnings and advisories across the eastern U.S. as the bomb cyclone brews.

The National Guard has already been activated in Boston ahead of the storm in anticipation for major flooding and structural damage.


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