(Reuters) – Tens of millions of Americans were under the threat of menacing weather on Wednesday as a powerful winter storm loomed across the East Coast after after leaving in its wake power outages, grounded flights and destruction.
More than 90 million people from eastern Ohio and Kentucky and up through the Mid-Atlantic and into the Northeast were under high wind and flooding advisories on Wednesday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
Major cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston were expected to see flood-inducing rains taper off in the morning and potentially damaging gusts of more than 50 miles (80 km) per hour that could take down trees and powerlines during the day, the NWS said.
“While much of the rain has now exited the area, we are still lingering with the effects. In particular, many rivers and streams continue to rise into moderate to major flood stages with flood warnings in place,” the NWS in New York City said on X.
Some 500,000 homes and businesses from Florida north to Maine were without power early on Wednesday, Poweroutage.us reported.
The storm also caused more than 1,400 flights to be delayed or canceled, including more than 100 flights in and out of Chicago, according to Flightaware.com.
The storm was already responsible for at least three deaths in Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia, where high winds and several tornadoes ripped through parts of the South, according to authorities and local media reports.
Two motorists were also killed in Wisconsin and Michigan, where heavy snow fell across the region, causing treacherous driving conditions, local media reported.
A separate winter storm was expected to continue during the day in the Pacific Northwest, where many communities in higher elevations were expected to get blizzard-like conditions throughout the day.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Mark Porter)