A punishing storm system pushed into the Northeast on Friday and threatened major cities with power outages, downed trees and a nasty morning commute, a day after it forced four states to postpone trick-or-treating.
Forecasters warned of possible severe weather in Boston, New York and Washington, including wind as strong as 50 mph. Air travel was snarled: Because of the wind, average delays of three hours were reported into New York’s LaGuardia, two hours into Philadelphia and two hours into Newark, N.J. Those delays lessened as the day went on.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the storm system lashed Texas, triggered tornado warnings in Kansas and damaged buildings in Arkansas. Three people were killed, including a 9-year-old boy struck by a downed power line while he was riding his bike in Tennessee.
In Kansas, a school bus ran off a bridge into a flooded creek. The students on board were safely rescued, but bus was still in the water Friday morning. In Austin, Texas, flash floods swamped more than 600 homes and swept away cars, and people had to be rescued by boat and helicopter.
Scores of cities in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee put off their Halloween celebrations for a day.
The wind threat on Friday reached from the Appalachian Mountains into New England. The weather is expected to calm down Friday afternoon, clearing the way for a more placid weekend, but not before an ugly morning drive for the big cities.
High wind in Chicago was expected to cause further rippling delays throughout the country’s air travel network.
“It’s not an outrageously powerful storm, but there will be power outages and trees coming down,” said Michael Palmer, lead meteorology for The Weather Channel.
On Friday morning, thousands of homes were without power in Ohio, and about 100 people were evacuated from an assisted-living facility in Indiana because wind blew away part of the roof.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
<p style="margin-bottom: .25in; line-height: 125%;" class="MsoNormal"> <span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 125%; font-family: "Cambria","serif";">The Associated Press contributed to this report.</span> </p>
First published November 1 2013, 10:18 AM