The first big snowstorm of the season in the Northeast closed sections of major highways Tuesday and blacked out thousands of utility customers.
The National Weather Service posted a winter storm warning for parts of New York state, in effect until 8 a.m. Wednesday, and issued winter storm advisories for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont.
“It looked like a mini blizzard in October,” said Joe Orlando, spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. “We’re salting the roads and we haven’t even gone trick-or-treating yet.”
Up to a foot of snow was possible in parts of upstate New York, with wind blowing at 25 mph and gusting to 40 mph, and as much as 9 inches of snow was forecast in Vermont’s mountains, the weather service said. Up to 13 inches of snow had fallen by Tuesday afternoon in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
Schools closed or delayed their openings in parts of Pennsylvania and New York state.
New York’s Thruway Authority said Interstate 84 was closed for part of the morning at the New York-Pennsylvania line in the Port Jervis area. It was reopened by late morning.
Stretches of Interstate 80 in northeastern Pennsylvania were closed intermittently because of multiple tractor-trailer wrecks, state agencies said.
PPL Corp. said about 39,000 of its customers in northeastern Pennsylvania lost power when the heavy, wet snow brought down trees and power lines. Utility companies in New Jersey said about 67,000 customers lost power, mostly in the northern part of the state.
Arrival delays into New York’s La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport were averaging more than two hours in the middle of the afternoon because of wind. Low ceilings were delaying some flights out of Philadelphia’s airport more than four hours, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.
Elsewhere, light snow fell at higher elevations of the southern Appalachians. National Park Service spokesman Bob Miller said U.S. 441 through Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina was closed for part of the morning while crews spread sand.