PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) –A fierce nor’easter that flooded streets, snapped trees in pieces and knocked out power to more than 1.8 million homes and businesses continued to lash the Atlantic coast, but the winds were expected to slowly let up as the storm moved offshore.
On Friday night, Governor Tom Wolf called on the Pennsylvania National Guard to support the local response to today’s severe weather.
“Our National Guard members will assist local responders and residents during this severe storm and the state continues to field and fulfill local requests for resources,” said Governor Wolf. “We are very fortunate that they live and work in our communities and are able to mobilize on short notice in order to provide help. Their service is vital to our commonwealth, especially during difficult weather.”
Along the Jersey Shore, the storm battered the beach. Flooding and beach erosion remains is a concern.
On the bay side of Atlantic City, they depend on the storm drains to dump the water out onto the bay, but when there is wind for a long period of time, the streets can’t drain like they are supposed to.
Atlantic City police say they haven’t had any rescues in cars or homes, but two large chunks fell off the former Trump Plaza Casino.
The 20 to 30 feet chunks blew off the exterior wall due to the high winds.
The powerful wind mixed with bitter cold made walking on the Atlantic City Boardwalk anything but a casual stroll.
“As you can see the storm is already here and it’s starting to snow so we are in the midst of it but our guys are ready for it and our Public Safety is ready for as well,” said Ventnor City Commissioner Lance Landgraf.
Around 2 p.m. the Ventnor City Fire Department was put to the test as a house fire broke out on Rosborough Avenue.
With 40 to 50 mile per hour gusts, firefighters climbed a ladder to the second floor as they tried to get the fire under control.
Bob Garbutt, who lives four doors down, says he appreciates their dedication under such extreme conditions.
“It’s bad the winds have been picking up all day and we got some moisture here it’s almost like sleet,” said Garbutt.
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 six people were killed Friday by falling trees or branches, including one person in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Others 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.
“I DON’T MIND TOO MUCH”
In Philadelphia, the high winds whipped in the city as the rain has switched over to snow.
Due to the cold temperatures, the city has now issued a code blue.
Heavy street signs won’t stop moving, trash cans have been toppled over and umbrellas have been abandoned in the street.
Despite the weather, plenty of people are outside walking.
“It’s very cold. It’s very windy. I came here to deliver a report and I’m freezing,” said Nicole Hanson of Runnemede, New Jersey.
“I don’t mind too much. As long as I don’t lose my hat I can deal with it,” said Rachel Kaiser of Levittown, Pennsylvania.
The storm has caused over 500,000 customers to lose power in the Delaware Valley.
“THERE’S TREES DOWN EVERYWHERE”
To the north and west of the city, snow is a major concern. The Poconos and some areas could get as much as a foot of snow.
“I just came down Route 33, I would estimate there is a 20 car pileup north of here,” said John Zigler of Whitehall.
Police near Allentown have been responding to non-stop crashes and reports of vehicles sliding off the roadways.
Many of the reported near whiteout conditions for drivers.
“It’s getting really, really bad. There’s trees down everywhere,” said Tammy Whitaker, of Nazareth.