Halloween faces postponement due to scary weather
Halloween trick-or-treating is in trouble in some parts of New Jersey, New England, and even Miami in the wake of major storms.
(Page 2 of 3)
In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie declared the damage to utilities worse than that wrought by Irene, a deadly storm that blew through the state in August.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures October snowstorm
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"The reason for that was the leaves on the trees have made whole trees and huge branches come down and taken down more wires — there are more lines down than Hurricane Irene," Christie told WNYC in New York. "It's a huge challenge for everybody."
Christie also urged parents to avoid downed power lines when they take their children out for Halloween.
Things were similar in Connecticut, where the power loss of 800,000 broke a record set by Irene. By early Monday, around 400,000 people lacked power in New Jersey and more than 750,000 in Connecticut.
The snowstorm smashed record snowfall totals for October and worsened as it moved north. Communities in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit. Snowfall totals topped 27 inches in Plainfield, and nearby Windsor got 26 inches. The snowstorm was blamed for at least 12 deaths, and states of emergency were declared in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and parts of New York.
"Look at this, look at all the damage," said Jennifer Burckson, 49, after she came outside Sunday morning in South Windsor to find a massive tree branch had smashed her car's back windshield. Trees in the neighborhood snapped in half, with others weighed down so much that the leaves brushed the snow.
Compounding the storm's impact were still-leafy trees, which gave the snow something to hang onto and that put tremendous weight on branches, said National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro. That led to limbs breaking off and contributed to the widespread power failures.
"This is not going to be a quick fix," said Peter Judge, a Massachusetts emergency management official.
The severity of the storm caught many by surprise, and it disrupted Halloween plans, too.
Sharon Martovich of Southbury, Conn., who was grocery shopping Sunday morning in nearby Newtown at one of the few businesses open for miles, said she's hoping the power will come back on in time for her husband's Halloween tradition of playing "Young Frankenstein" on a giant screen in front of their house.
"We would be really sad and it would disappoint a lot of people if we can't play 'Young Frankenstein,'" she said. But no matter what, they will make sure the eight or so children who live in the neighborhood don't miss out on trick-or-treating.
"Either way we will get the giant flashlights and we will go," she said.
She was already making the best of the power failure. After the lights went out around 4 p.m. Saturday, she invited neighbors over for an impromptu Halloween party with wine and quesadillas in front of her propane fireplace.
Around Newtown, snow-laden branches were snapping off trees every few minutes, and roads that were plowed became impassible because the trees were falling so fast.
Along the coast and in such cities as Boston, the relatively warm ocean helped keep snowfall totals much lower. Washington received a trace of snow, tying a 1925 record for the date. New York City's Central Park set a record for both the date and for October with 1.3 inches.