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Nor'easter causes flooding across East Coast as bomb cyclone lashes the West

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Powerful nor'easter lashes East Coast
Powerful nor'easter lashes East Coast 06:29

The first nor'easter of the season is affecting tens of millions of Americans with devastating winds and flooding. Forecasters say it could develop into a bomb cyclone just as another blasted the West Coast over the weekend.

New York and New Jersey's governors declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm. Parts of New Jersey were swamped by more than five inches of rain Tuesday morning and state troopers there responded to nearly 200 accidents before 12 p.m. local time. In New York City, several flights were diverted due to the severe weather.

Thousands of homes and businesses have lost power. The storm is expected to worsen in the coming hours as wind speeds increase to between 40 and 60 mph, with isolated gusts along the Rhode Island and Massachusetts coasts approaching hurricane force.

New Jersey floods
A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater covers streets in New Jersey on October 26, 2021. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty
 

Kayaker pronounced dead in New York

A 45-year-old kayaker was pronounced dead Tuesday after he was found near Orchard Beach in New York, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed. Officials searched for Laurence Broderick, who was reportedly traveling from Hempstead Harbor to Mamaroneck in New York on Monday night, after receiving a report early Tuesday morning.  

"It is with sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Broderick that we acknowledge the unfortunate news of his loss – which occurred while he was kayaking near the Long Island Sound," Coast Guard captain Zeita Merchant said in a statement. 

Broderick left from Hempstead Harbor at approximately 9:00 p.m. Monday and was reported overdue on Tuesday, officials said. His kayak and cell phone were discovered later Tuesday morning on Glen Island Beach. At around 2:00 p.m., a rescue swimmer found Broderick's body in the water. Broderick was then transferred to Westchester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

Winds at the start of the search were upward of around 17 miles per hour with three to four foot waves in the sea, the Coast Guard said. 

"Today's events were truly tragic in nature, and we continue to urge all recreational craft users in the area to heed weather and condition warnings as they consider whether or not to go out on the water," Merchant said. 

Broderick's cause of death has not yet been determined.

By Tori B. Powell
 

Three weather sites break daily rainfall records

Three of the National Weather Service's climate sites broke daily rainfall records, the agency announced Tuesday afternoon. The sites are locations where the weather service takes daily measurements.

New York's John F. Kennedy Airport recorded 2.05 inches of daily rainfall on Tuesday, setting a new record from the previous high of 1.34 inches in 2002. 

Connecticut's Sikorsky Memorial Airport reported 1.87 inches of daily rainfall, breaking its previous record of 1.32 inches set in 1958. 

Another New York airport, the Long Island MacArthur Airport, saw 3.33 inches of rain in a single day, which topped its previous record of 1.50 inches set in 1981.

By Tori B. Powell
 

Officials make more than a dozen water rescues in New Jersey town

Police in Union Beach, New Jersey, said they have responded to over a dozen emergency calls for assistance amid the nor'easter storm. Calls for service involved drivers "stranded in rapidly rising flood and storm waters," they said.

"All rescues were successful due largely in part to our special police high water rescue vehicles, training and the quick response to the latter," said Michael J. Woodrow, the city's chief of police. No injuries have been reported in the rescues, he added. 

Woodrow said the department has seen more flooding in areas that traditionally don't flood and that teams are responding to the storm with tactics from meteorological incidents like Hurricane Sandy. 

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Monmouth County, which includes Union Beach. Additional showers are forecast throughout the remainder of the day and the evening. Up to five inches of rain has already fallen in the county. 

"Fortunately our trained police officers have the capability to respond immediately with our special operations search and rescue high water vehicles," Woodrow said. "Areas that were once inaccessible are now accessible which is crucial when time is of the essence."

By Tori B. Powell
 

New Jersey governor urges residents to stay home: "Use your common sense"

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delayed the opening of state government offices on Tuesday for employees working in person amid the storm. He urged residents in the state to stay home until the nor'easter passes if they can. 

"Please remember the tragic lessons again learned from Ida," Murphy said at a briefing. "Flooded roads can have currents swift enough to wash a car and its passengers away."

Murphy declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm on Monday evening and said Tuesday that it will remain in effect.

Some areas in New Jersey have seen up to five inches of rain and winds with gusts of up to 25 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. 

Flash flooding and strong winds are forecasted to hit several counties. Residents have been advised to not drive on flooded roadways and to "heed all road closures." Murphy said residents should expect to see power outages as well.

"Please everybody be safe and use your common sense," Murphy said. 

Flash floods in New Jersey
An aerial view of a residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater covers streets in New Jersey on October 26, 2021. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty
By Tori B. Powell
 

Roads flood across New Jersey

The nor'easter caused a rough commute for drivers in New Jersey where cars were stranded in a flooded section of a state highway. In the city of Lodi, the Saddle River overflowed, filling the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club.

"I came at 6:30 in the morning to see how we're doing, but already the water was maybe half of the parking lot," said Diego Cruz, of the Boys and Girls Club.

Cruz said he spent hours moving equipment to keep them from getting carried away. He reported a small amount of water in the basement. The club was closed Tuesday but Cruz said the flooding didn't come close to the severity of Ida. "We don't want that anymore. Right now, we can handle this," he said.

Read more at CBS New York.

 

630,000 people without power across West Coast

Approximately 630,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers lost power since the start of the storm on Sunday morning on the west coast, the energy provider said Monday. While the majority of customers have had power restored, 50,000 people still were without power as of Monday evening. 

The provider said nearly 3,000 personnel are responding to the major atmospheric river storm that was one of the "most potent to hit northern and Central California in over a decade."

"Hundreds more employees are staffing the storm centers, performing safety duties, delivering needed equipment to PG&E yards and more," Pacific Gas and Electric said.

By Tori B. Powell
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