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Spring nor'easter cuts power to 75,000; around foot of snow in places

A powerful spring storm dumped snow across parts of the Northeast overnight -- including around a foot in at least three places -- and cut power to more than 75,000 customers in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, with more snow expected overnight.

"Winter storm warnings are in effect from the higher elevations of West Virginia northward to western New York," the National Weather Service stated.

Most of the snow was falling across upstate New York, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, where the weather service predicted the heaviest snowfall "of over an inch per hour" would occur through midday Monday.

In addition, flood watches were in effect in parts of eastern New York and northern Maine, the weather service stated.

Strong winds accompanied the storm overnight, with LaGuardia Airport in New York City recording a 54 mph gust. Winds hit 40 mph in Boston and 44 in Groton, Conn.

By early Monday morning, 10 inches of snow was reported in Newfield, in western New York near Ithaca, while 5 inches had fallen in Boswell, Pa., reported.

Sylvania, Pa., later reported 11 inches of snow, while Laurel Summit, Pa., saw nearly 14 inches.

"Snowfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches with localized amounts as high as 15 inches will be possible across areas from the higher terrain of West Virginia and western Maryland northward to the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in New York," the weather service stated.

The heavy snow was weighing down trees, some of which snapped and cut power lines.

Leaves on trees are "three to four weeks ahead of schedule because of the exceptionally warm winter and spring" prior to the storm, the Weather Channel's Eric Fisher reported for NBC's TODAY show. "That acts like a net to collect this heavy, wet snow."


Some 25,000 power outages were reported in New York state by noon. "Outage numbers are likely to continue climb as the storm is moving slowly," Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said in a statement.

Pennsylvannia reported 50,000 outages.

In western Pennsylvania, some schools were closed Monday morning, the Associated Press reported. noted that while Northeast snow in the past has "fallen well into the month of May in many locations from western New York to West Virginia, snowfall this heavy, so late in the season is rare."

Buffalo, N.Y., for example, has seen 10 calendar days of an inch or more snow after April 22, according to records that date back to 1884. But it has seen only three calendar days after April 22 with at least four inches of snow.

On Sunday, the storm moved in with heavy rain, prompting the Boston Red Sox to postpone a night game against the New York Yankees. In New York City, the scheduled arrival of the space shuttle Enterprise for museum display there was pushed back.

The precipitation should help ease what was a spreading drought in the Northeast.

"We're down 7 or 8 inches," weather service forecaster Charlie Foley told the Associated Press. "This won't completely wipe out the deficit but it will certainly help."

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