New York: A severe northeaster storm caused heavy snowfall across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, leaving over 160,000 residents without power and hundreds of flights cancelled, disrupting life in the region which is still recovering from hurricane Sandy's devastation.
The new storm, known as Athena, buffeted the northeast with rain, snow, coastal flooding and high winds with gusts up to 50 miles per hour.
The severe northeaster storm caused 7-13 inches of snow across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The National Weather Service said the strong coastal storm would lose its grip on the region later on Saturday, with lessening storm impacts.
According to flight tracking service Flightaware.com, airlines had cancelled 672 flights in the wake of the storm, with New Jersey's Newark Airport, New York's LaGuardia and J F K Airport witnessing the most disruptions.
The storm hit the region on Friday and dropped 11 inches of snow in Connecticut's Fairfield County and 13.5 inches in New Haven County. 1710 flights were cancelled, with major cancellations occurring at the three affected airports.
New Jersey's Bergen County and Union County received 7.5 inches of snow while New York's Nassau County woke up to 8 inches of snow and Westchester County to 9.5 inches of snow.
The snow raised fears of toppling trees, weakened during Hurricane Sandy, over power lines and homes. The snow storm also left thousands without power just as some residents were beginning to get their electricity back days after Sandy left them in the dark.
According to estimates provided by the region's power utility companies, over 163,000 residents were without electricity and heat in the wake of the northeaster. New Jersey utility company Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) reported Athena affected service to more than 90,000 customers.
Power had been restored to about 50,000 customers as of Saturday morning. About 70,000 households continue to remain without power due to Hurricane Sandy. PSE&G said it expects to continue to restore customers still impacted by Hurricane Sandy as well as respond to outages caused by last night's storm.
New York's power company Con Edison said the storm also cut off electricity to nearly 55,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County. The new storm temporarily delayed Con Edison's customer restorations as crews repairing overhead equipment could not work safely in high winds.
As of early this morning, the company had reported outages to 21,000 customers in Queens, 7,000 in Brooklyn, 4,000 in the Bronx, 3,900 in Staten Island and 140 in Manhattan.
In Westchester, there were about 35,000 customers out of service and some communities were hit particularly hard bytree damage, downed wires and road closures. The Long Island Power Authority reported that 60,000 customers lost power in New York.
Orange and Rockland Utilities, which serve New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said 1000 out of its 10,000 customers were still without power. Atlantic City Electric was working to restore power to 7000 residents out of the 21,000 customers.