NEW YORK — A deadly storm that hammered the Northeast with relentless rain, snow and powerful winds slowly moved away Saturday — but its effects will linger for days.
The coastal storm has killed at least five people, caused massive flooding and knocked out power for more than 1 million customers from Virginia to New England.
Those affected by power outages will not get relief immediately.
“People in these homes need to plan for a prolonged outage,” Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said Friday night. “This is a multi-day restoration event.”
The storm morphed into a “bomb cyclone” after undergoing the so-called bombogenesis Friday, slamming much of the Northeast with heavy snow and rain. Significant coastal flooding and even hurricane-force winds hit New England.
Conditions are expected to improve as the storm continues moving on Saturday.
Winds will slow down for most of the Northeast while strong wind gusts will continue along the coast through Saturday, CNN forecasters said.
A mix of snow and rain will taper off along the coast of New England while northwestern New York could see up to one inch of snow.
Outside of the tri-state area, more than 1.2 million customers were without power Saturday in Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington.
• Aftermath response: The governors of Maryland and Virginia have issued state of emergency declarations, allowing state and local agencies to help those affected by the storm.
Falling trees killed at least three adults and two children Friday, officials said.
A 77-year-old woman died in Kingsville, Maryland; an 11-year-old boy in Putnam County, New York; a 44-year-old man in James City County, Virginia; a juvenile in Chesterfield County, Virginia; and a Newport, Rhode Island, man who was in his 70s.
The brutal winds caused havoc, crushing cars and taking down trees as well as power poles.
Cynthia Creighton’s son was in her car when a neighbor’s tree fell on top of the vehicle in Watertown, Massachusetts.
“The house shook and we heard a noise. We didn’t know what it was,” Creighton told CNN affiliate WHDH. “We ran out, my son was still in the car with the tree on top of it.”
Creighton’s son, who was in the back seat, was not injured, she said.
Boston under water
High tides powered coastal flooding in Boston and other parts of Massachusetts Friday, leaving streets awash for the second time since a massive nor’easter in early January. More record-setting high tides might strike Boston Harbor on Saturday morning.
Boston Harbor has only seen tides above 15 feet twice — in 1978 and in January, during the last bomb cyclone. A high tide that occurred late Friday morning came up a little short, reaching 14.67 feet, but still sent water sloshing through the streets of East Boston.
“I encourage all residents to be mindful of the storm and encourage employers to take the weather into consideration, which will mostly impact the coastal areas of our city,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.
With the moon full, the tide is at its highest point of the month, and the storm surge could drive as much as 4 feet of water into coastal neighborhoods, CNN meteorologists said. Massachusetts emergency officials said tides “will be astronomically high” in the next few days
In Boston, many streets were closed and city officials advised people not to drive or walk in high water.
Kayakers paddled down thoroughfares normally filled with cars while businesses owners piled sandbags in front of their stores to keep the water out.