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TORONTO — A severe storm packing hurricane force wind gusts and soaking rain swept through the U.S. northeast early Monday, knocking out power for more than 700,000. Lingering wind gusts over 80 kph near the shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie are possible as the storm pulls northward into northern Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Air Canada has issued travel alerts for a dozen airports due to strong wind conditions and thunderstorms, including Boston, Halifax, Hartford, Moncton, Montreal (YQM and YUL), New York (New Jersey’s EWR as well as LGA), Ottawa, Philadelphia, Sept-Iles and Toronto (YTZ and YYZ). WestJet has issued a weather advisory for New York.
The New England area appeared to get the brunt of the storm, which brought sustained winds of up to 50 mph in some spots, with a gust of 82 mph reported in Mashpee on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. There were customers without power in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Maine and New Hampshire also got pounded.
“We need about 24 to 48 hours to really get a good handle on what the scope of the damage is,” Seth Wheeler, a spokesman for New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, told WMUR-TV. “We’ll be making restorations along the way, but this is going to be a multiple-day event.”
He added, “I think if you’re without power at this time, you should expect to remain without power, possibly for a number of days.”
The same storm system also caused problems earlier Sunday in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
The storm began making its way up the East Coast on Sunday, which also was the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. That 2012 storm devastated the nation’s most populous areas, was blamed for at least 182 deaths in the U.S. and Caribbean and more than US$71 billion in damage in this country alone.
With files from The Associated Press