Northeast storm blamed for one death and massive gridlock

Northeast winter storm

The Northeast is digging out from its first major winter storm of 2017. The powerful system quickly dumped large amounts of heavy snow.

Across New England, schools are closed for a second day, including Boston, Providence and Hartford public schools. Hundreds of flights are cancelled.

Some areas got more than a foot and a half of snow, and temperatures are still freezing Friday, with below-zero wind chills in some spots. The Nor’easter was the first official blizzard to hit the Boston area in more than two years.

Winter storm halts thousands of flights in NYC, Philly and Boston

It blew through New England quickly, but it packed a wallop, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

Whipping winds and blinding snow pummeled Cape Cod. It even brought a rare weather phenomenon: thundersnow.

In Rhode Island, one home was damaged by lightning, and the storm forced the shutdown of Interstate 95.

Despite pleas from officials to stay off the roads, up and down the Northeast, trucks flipped over and cars spun out off the road. Authorities warned about the dangers of traveling in these conditions – there’s almost nothing to see out of the windshield, but white.

An SUV plowed into one house in New Hampshire. The driver was taken to the hospital.

And in Worcester, Massachusetts, the hilly streets were practically impassable.

“Just trying to turn it around up there, and end up sliding right around the corner here,” said one driver, struggling in the snow. 

Some of the worst conditions were along the coast, where massive waves battered homes and left many people without power. About 55,000 Massachusetts homes and businesses were left in the dark. Plymouth resident Rob McLellan lost electricity in his house temporarily. 

“And you have a child,” Werner said.

“Thirteen months, yeah. But we can’t leave him without the heat, so,” McLellan said.

The storm was blamed for one death in New York City. A doorman shoveling the sidewalk slipped and smashed through a glass window.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said state offices will re-open today.

“We expect the roads to be in better shape, but everyone should drive carefully and take their time, because there will still be icy spots out there,” Baker said.