America

It's Freezing, And Power's Out For Hundreds Of Thousands

In Philadelphia on Wednesday, a woman ducked under a utility line that was brought down when an ice-covered tree fell. i i

In Philadelphia on Wednesday, a woman ducked under a utility line that was brought down when an ice-covered tree fell. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Rourke/AP
In Philadelphia on Wednesday, a woman ducked under a utility line that was brought down when an ice-covered tree fell.

In Philadelphia on Wednesday, a woman ducked under a utility line that was brought down when an ice-covered tree fell.

Matt Rourke/AP

Temperatures are going to stay below freezing for the next few days across the Northeast, and that's not good news for a half-million or so households and businesses in southeastern Pennsylvania. Many won't have electricity again until Friday or the weekend.

Tens of thousands of other homes and businesses in neighboring Maryland and New Jersey also may not have electricity for another day or so, power companies warn.

The problems stem from the snow, ice and freezing rain that fell across the region Tuesday and Wednesday. In some places — most notably around Philadelphia — falling trees took out power lines.

The good news, according to Philly.com meteorologist John Bolaris, is that a previously hyped "megastorm" said to be headed toward the region in coming days appears to have petered out.

"As it stands now, a period of light snow or snow showers ... is possible on Sunday, but NO major storm," Bolaris writes.

NPR's Louise Schiavone adds on our Newscast that the storm "prompted emergency declarations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania." As we reported Wednesday, the snow and ice led to the closing of Interstate 84 in southeastern New York state. That 72-mile stretch of highway is now open again.

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