Nor'easter moves offshore but major flooding, high winds to linger into Sunday

Winds were expected to remain breezy from Washington to Boston, a day after they toppled tractor trailers and exceeded 50 mph.

The fierce nor'easter that flooded streets, snapped trees and knocked out power to more than 1.8 million homes and businesses will not go away quietly, as forecasters warned hard-hit coastal residents in Massachusetts to brace for more strong winds and major flooding into Sunday.

The storm, which battered residents from North Carolina to Maine, was blamed for at least five deaths.

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Nearly 400,000 customers were still without power Saturday morning in The Bay State from downed trees and power lines, mainly along the coast.

The National Weather Service in Boston warned that coastal flooding and strong winds would persist during the weekend as the storm slowly pulls away from New England.

It forecasts a third round of moderate to major coastal flooding for the midday high tide, and succeeding tide cycles through Sunday.

High winds, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph, were expected on already-battered Cape Cod and the islands on Saturday, gradually subsiding on Sunday.

Winds were expected to remain breezy from Washington to Boston, a day after they toppled tractor trailers and exceeded 50 mph, with gusts of 80 to 90 mph on Cape Cod. At least five people were killed Friday by falling trees or branches.

Ohio and upstate New York got a foot or more of snow. Boston and Rhode Island expected to get 2 inches to 5 inches.

The five killed during Friday’s storm included two children. A man and a 6-year-old boy were killed in different parts of Virginia, while an 11-year-old boy in New York state and a man in Newport, Rhode Island, both were killed. A 77-year-old woman died after being struck by a branch outside her home near Baltimore.

Waves crash over houses on Turner Rd. as a large coastal storm affects the area on March 2, 2018 in Scituate, Massachusetts.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Floodwaters in Quincy, Massachusetts, submerged cars, and police rescued people trapped in their vehicles. High waves battered nearby Scituate, making roads impassable and turning parking lots into small ponds. More than 1,800 people alerted Scituate officials they had evacuated, The Boston Globe reported.

Gov. Charlie Baker activated 200 Massachusetts National Guard members to help victims. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf was sending 90 guard members, mainly to help communities hit by heavy snow in the Poconos Mountains.

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Airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights, mostly in the Northeast. LaGuardia and Kennedy airports in New York City were brought to a near standstill.

At one point Amtrak shut down all service along the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston because of the strong winds and danger of flooding. The New York-Washington leg of the passenger service was still suspected Saturday morning.

In New Jersey, a tree hit overhead wires, forcing the suspension of some New Jersey Transit commuter service.

At Washington's Dulles Airport, passengers on one flight had a rough ride through the heavy winds.

“Pretty much everyone on the plane threw up,” a pilot wrote in a report to the National Weather Service.

President Trump, who traveled to North Carolina for the funeral for the Rev. Billy Graham, was forced to fly out of Dulles instead of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is housed, because of high winds.

Meanwhile, police in New York reported that several barges used in the construction of the replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge broke loose in the Hudson River north of New York City.

In the western New York town of Hornell, 30-year-old Anna Stewart milked the 130 cows on her dairy farm on Friday in a barn powered by a generator hooked up to a tractor. Stewart lost power the night before. Hornell got more than 14 inches of snow.

“The snow is pretty wet and heavy. It’s taken down a lot of lines,” Stewart said. “There’s more snow than I’ve seen in quite a few years.”

On the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown resident Andy Towle took video of a 50-foot fishing boat breaking free from its mooring and drifting dangerously toward the rocks.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” the 50- year-old resident said. “The harbormaster was down there with police, and they didn’t know what to do.”