HAVERTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) –For the second time in less than a week, a storm rolled into the Northeast with wet, heavy snow Wednesday, grounding flights, closing schools and bringing another round of power outages to a corner of the country still recovering from the previous blast of winter.
The nor’easter knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers and produced “thundersnow” as it made its way up the coast, with flashes of lightning and booming thunder from the Philadelphia area to New York City.
At one point, snow fell at 1 to 2 inches per hour in some areas.
During the height of the storm, more than 200,000 customers in the region were without power.
In Delaware County, residents are still trying to rebound from the first storm. Crews from out-of-state are still trying to get power back to those homes.
The ground is also still saturated from the first nor’easter, that there’s concern more trees could come down.
“Very concerned about that with the trees that are weakened already from the past storm, the heavy winds and rain and snow from Friday’s storm, and now with this wet snow on top of it, what tree hasn’t come down, we’re very concerned about what could happen with the additional weight,” said Haverford Township Police Chief John Viola.
Neighbors cut through a large oak tree in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Wednesday night. It came tumbling thanks to the wind and heavy snow.
Theresa Konyves says her mother was inside when the old tree came crashing down. She wasn’t harmed.
“It was very quick. Not loud at all,” said Konyves.
A few blocks away, neighbors on Garfield Street cleaned up from the March snow while crossing their fingers for the power to come on.
“I have a 1-year-old daughter and it’s very cold outside, so it’s gonna be cold in the house,” said Elena Amparo.
The power went out midafternoon when a neighborhood transformer blew.
“I saw this big blue ball of light and two seconds later there was another ball of light with flames,” said Dawn Steinke, who lives in Bucks County.
Now, it’s a waiting game to get the lights and heat on as soon as possible.
In New Jersey, the state’s major utilities reported more than 300,000 customers without power by Wednesday night, with some left over from last week. PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest electric utility, reported more than 100,000 homes and businesses without power.
Wind gusts up to 60 mph were forecast on Cape Cod, 45 mph at the Jersey shore and 30 mph around suburban Philadelphia.
The wind knocked gobs of slush and snow off buildings and trees in Philadelphia and New York, forcing pedestrians to watch out. Across the region, power lines and tree branches sagged precariously under the weight of the wet show. Suburban streets were littered with downed trees and branches.
“I don’t think I’m ready for this to happen again,” Caprice Dantzler said as she walked through Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. She said many trees that crashed into cars and homes and blocked streets during the last storm had yet to be removed.
In Philadelphia, officials lifted their snow emergency on Wednesday night.
Officials say residents can now park along the snow emergency route.
“Cars left on Snow Emergency routes between 8 a.m. through 9 p.m. today were likely relocated. If your car was moved, call 215-686-SNOW to find it. Do not call 911,” said city officials.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning into Thursday morning for the Philadelphia area.
More than 2,400 flights across the region — about 1,900 in the New York metro area alone — were canceled as conditions deteriorated.
“I’m not looking forward to another round of this, but it is what it is,” Chris Martin said as he prepared to leave his Toms River, New Jersey, home and head to work at an information technology firm in Philadelphia. “All in all, it hasn’t been a terrible winter.”
Martin had already arranged to stay in Philadelphia overnight.
“If Mother Nature wants to give us one last blast of winter, that’s up to her,” he said.
Ten people were taken to hospitals with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator inside a home in North White Plains, New York, police said. All were expected to survive.
A teacher was struck by lightning while holding an umbrella on bus duty outside a school in Manchester Township, New Jersey, police said. The woman felt a tingling sensation but didn’t lose consciousness. She was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Amtrak canceled some train service, and commuter trains in Philadelphia and New Jersey were put on an abbreviated schedule.
Amtrak says Northeast Corridor Service between Boston and New York will be suspended until 11 a.m. on Thursday.
SEPTA says bus service is expected to resume on most routes on Thursday, March 8, however, some may still be suspended or detoured due to street conditions from the storm.
School districts and government offices from Delaware northward closed, and the governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania declared states of emergency.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says all State offices will have a two-hour delayed opening on Thursday, March 8, 2018, due to inclement weather conditions. Non-essential personnel should report two hours from normal reporting time. Essential employees should report on schedule.
As temperature fall overnight, untreated surfaces will likely freeze in some spots leading to icy spots. Drivers should be alert for fallen trees, limbs, and power lines overnight, in addition to icy spots on roadways.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)