Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET
A powerful nor’easter storm is pummeling the New England area with heavy rain, strong winds and floods, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people in several states Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service warns that winds from the storm may down trees and power lines and cause power outages. And the agency says people affected by the storm should secure loose outdoor items and be cautious when using portable generators.
Roads have been closed to clear power lines and trees, closing schools and businesses. The state’s emergency operations center was partially activated at 4 a.m. in anticipation of the storm.
“In two hours it went from 60,000 to over 100,000, so we don’t have any estimates of restoration right now,” Central Maine Power spokeswoman Catherine Hartnett said, according to Maine Public Radio. “We are still dealing with the effects of an intense storm, and as we can assess the damage and begin the restoration we will begin posting restoration estimates on our website.”
About 198,000 Massachusetts residents woke up to power outages, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. As of 5 p.m., there were nearly 130,000 outages. The NWS office in Boston has issued a high wind warning, reporting wind gusts as strong as 90 mph in some parts of the state.
At Boston’s Logan International Airport, high winds caused a collision between a Southwest Airlines plane and a jet bridge. The plane was reportedly empty and sitting at the boarding gate at the time of the incident.
The NWS has issued high wind warnings to people living in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey that will stay in effect until 6 p.m, with gusts expected up to 60 mph. Connecticut is reporting the most outages in the tri-state area, with the state’s largest power utility reporting about 29,000 customers without power. West Hartford Public Works said that some traffic signals are not functioning and crews are working on clearing roads.
Rhode Island’s National Grid, the state’s only electric provider, reported more than 23,000 affected customers as of 5 p.m. The storm brought more than four inches of rain and winds up to 70 mph to the state.
According to the NWS, the storm is expected to rapidly lift into eastern Canada by Friday, with rain and possible snow showers lingering in interior areas amid unseasonably cool temperatures.
Paolo Zialcita is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.