Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Northeast Winter Storm Kills Power for Some, Yields a Blizzard of Snow Pics

stephiejeanne2_snow-feature“We have power but no Internet or phone. I think the universe is trying to tell us to relax. Thank you, universe.”

That was the philosophical conclusion from my friend the ESPN sports writer Jane McManus in my Facebook feed this morning (obviously posting from a still-working mobile phone) as the Northeast woke up to snow, snow, and more snow today.

Power is out to some 650,000 people in areas of New England, most of them in Massachussetts, and some 29 inches of snow was said to have fallen in Portland, Maine. From Connecticut to Toronto, weather forecasters are talking about snowfall in feet, not inches. Most of the region’s airports are closed, though Newark International was expected to re-open today, and commuter trains suspended service. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 5,300 flights were canceled yesterday. The storm is also being blamed for six deaths, so it’s no laughing matter.

There were hurricane-force winds in Massachusetts, and the snow forced the shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. Boston is said to getting so much snow that it may break the record of 27.6 inches set in 2003.

For the most part wireless infrastructure appears to have held up well, which is more than it did during Hurricane Sandy.

I got a short statement from AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel who said:

“The vast majority of our cell sites across New England and in each of the hardest-hit states like Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are operating as usual. We are coordinating our efforts with local and state officials and have additional resources, including crews and equipment, ready to deploy for restoration efforts as soon as we can ensure the safety of our people. Service is currently normal or near-normal operational levels in all states in the region, including New York, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.”

No word from Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile yet, but I haven’t heard about significant wireless outages anywhere.

Good thing, because there wasn’t much else to do but go outside and take pictures and share them on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. The photo above is of the path around the Central Park Reservoir from my Twitter friend Stephanie Heliker of New York via her Instagram feed, and she’s taken some other nice ones here. The city was largely spared the heavy blast that other parts of the Northeast took. So for every beautiful snowy scene in the city, there were probably 10 more illustrating the heavy thwack of the storm’s full fury.

Here’s a few others that caught my attention:

This one is from my Facebook friend Juliana Schatz, who is in East Hartford, Conn.:

juliana_schatz_snow

Here’s another that I saw via the Twitter feed of @NBCBayArea taken in Connecticut, where the snowfall was said to be upward of three feet. Original here.

NBC-CT

Newly opened doors were a pretty dominant photographic theme throughout the region today. Here’s another from Jonathan Helitzer aka @JHiker711 in Simsbury, Conn. Original here.

JHhiker711_snow

And while the storm wasn’t officially named Nemo by the National Weather Service, the moniker given it by the Weather Channel stuck. Naturally some creative soul couldn’t help but create a snow Nemo. Original here via @BarraBest

snow_nemo


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus