A major nor’easter pounded the East Coast on Friday, packing heavy rain, intermittent snow and strong winds as residents from the mid-Atlantic to Maine braced for coastal flooding. CBS News weather producer David Parkinson said a swath of 40 mph gusts was stretching from the Carolinas to Maine.
More than 2,100 flights were canceled by airlines, most spread across airports in the Northeast. An American Airlines spokesman said the company has cancelled 18 percent of its flights in the Northeast, with Boston’s Logan Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport the hardest hit. Amtrak is reporting track damage on one of its Washington D.C. lines.
The Eastern Seaboard was getting buffeted by wind gusts exceeding 50 mph, with possible hurricane-strength winds of 80 to 90 mph on Cape Cod. Also, heavy snow fell in Ohio and upstate New York as the storm spun eastward. Boston south to Rhode Island was forecast to get 2 to 5 inches of snow from the late-winter storm.
The full moon is bringing the highest tides of the month — intensifying coastal flooding concerns. “Add in a storm surge of four feet in the Boston area and you could easily rival all-time records for coastal flooding,” Parkinson said. The Massachusetts coast is particularly vulnerable, but the Jersey Shore, Long Island, Connecticut and even Delaware will all see coastal flooding, Parkinson said.
Total rain from the storm could top three inches in places in about 24 hours — enough to cause both flash flooding and general flooding.
And the snow that falls will be the wet gloppy, heavy variety. That and strong winds equal a very good chance of power outages.