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December Storm Leaves At Least 5 Dead, 800,000 Homes Without Power in Northeastern US

6 months ago
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A powerful storm swept into the Northeast on Monday, bringing drenching rain, damaging winds, flooding and power outages to the region. Over 800,000 homes and businesses lost electricity in the hardest-hit states of Massachusetts and Maine. Five deaths were also reported due to falling trees and debris.

The National Weather Service said over 5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of New Jersey and northeast Pennsylvania by mid-morning.

Gusts reached 70 mph along coastal southern New England, toppling trees and power lines. Poweroutage.us reported that more than 700,000 total outages stretched from Virginia up through New England. This included over 278,000 blacked-out customers in Massachusetts and 263,000 in Maine.

An 89-year-old Massachusetts man was killed in Hingham early Monday when high winds blew a tree onto his trailer. Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz stated Robert Horky was pulled from the wreckage with critical head injuries and later died at the hospital.

In Windham, Maine, a resident removing debris from his roof was struck and killed by a falling tree limb. Police officials warned people to remain indoors until the storm passed.

Multi-Hazard Storm Impacted Over 10 States

The expansive nature of the early-week storm became evident as the rain shield and gusty winds extended over 10 states from Georgia to Maine. Areas still cleaning up tornado damage contended with toppled trees, prolonged power losses and additional flooding.

In South Carolina, the brunt of impacts stemmed from astronomical high tides swelling rivers and inundating Charleston. Water levels peaked at 9.86 feet in the Harbor besting previous nuisance flood episodes. Mayor John Tecklenburg's administration continues collaborating with the Army Corps of Engineers on ways to bolster the city against even higher storm surges and sea rise through infrastructure upgrades.

However, with Charleston sitting just above sea level, experts agree chronic flooding episodes may accelerate requiring difficult conversations on managed retreat from the coast.


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