Snowstorms, rain, flooding causing blackouts, canceled flights in US

Washington, Mar 14 (EFE).- The northeastern United States is enduring heavy snowstorms, gale force winds and torrential rain while heavy rain is predicted for southern and central California on Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported.

Almost 300,000 homes and businesses on Tuesday morning were without electricity, according to, with more than 90,000 of them in New York state, another 68,500 in Massachusetts and 67,656 in New Hampshire.

Weather conditions at about midday had resulted in the cancellation of 1,690 flights and delays in 2,074 others, according to

Meteorologists, who have dubbed the northeastern storm Sage, warned that the wet and heavy snow accompanied by strong winds could damage treed and the electric power network in the region.

On Tuesday, it continued to snow in parts of New England, eastern and central New York state, northeastern Pennsylvania and in New Jersey.

The NWS said that in some areas the snow was falling at the rate of 25-50 millimeters (1-2 inches) per hour and that in the zones closest to the Atlantic coast torrential rain was being accompanied by heavy winds.

New Hampshire suspended school classes on Tuesday and in the Manchester school district K-through-12 students attended class virtually.

The Weather Channel reported that Sage on Wednesday could become a “bomb cyclone,” something that occurs when the central pressure of a weather system falls by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours or less, a situation that results in intense and potentially very damaging storms.

At the same time, a front extending from the northern Rocky Mountains to central California will move a low pressure system over the California coastline, and the system will move eastwards to the Great Lakes on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that in the San Bernardino mountains, although the snow stopped falling there weeks ago, life is far from back to normal. In that region, more than a dozen residents died – or froze to death – from the heavy snow that had blocked travel routes and caused power blackouts.

The Weather Prediction Center issued a high-risk rain and flooding advisory for parts of southern and central California that will extend into Wednesday.

To round out the winter weather map, the NWS said that freezes are expected in parts of the South, including Arkansas, northern Mississippi and Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and both North and South Carolina.

EFE –/bp

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