Storm Riley: Five dead as violent weather smashes U.S. leaving widespread flooding

ABC News — A nor’easter pummeling the East Coast is expected to bring flooding heavy rain and inland snow over the next 24 hours

At the height of the storm Friday, approximately 150,000 National Grid customers in Rhode Island had lost power, according to company spokesman Ted Kresse.

The third highest tide on record happened today at Boston Harbor, reaching 14.67 feet.

"I encourage all residents to be mindful of the storm and encourage employers to take the weather into consideration, which will mostly impact the coastal areas of our city", Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Jim Hayes, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said coastal flooding was expected to continue to cause problems in eastern MA and Boston, which could experience "a significant coastal flood event".

"Since 10 a.m., Thursday until now, this storm has rapidly dropped in pressure, officially passing the definition of 24 millibars in 24 hours", CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said at 11 a.m. ET Friday. Some forecast models predict a sudden pressure plummet Friday evening off the Atlantic coast.

Service between NY and Washington, D.C., remained spotty Saturday morning, according to the passenger rail company. On top of that, the storm's surge could drive 3 to 4 feet of water into coastal neighborhoods.

The National Weather Service reported that, "widespread snow, rain and strong winds developed overnight", due to the slow-moving storm. Parts of eastern Long Island and eastern MA could get up to 5 inches of rain through Saturday. Meanwhile, forecasters were watching another potential weather system that could bring rain, or even more snow, to the region later in the week.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency.

"Mostly minor and some moderate flooding is expected in southern New England and NY on Friday and Saturday", the National Weather Service said.

"We've been here a long time and we've never seen it as bad as this", said Alex Barmashi, who lives in the hard-hit village of Sagamore Beach.

The storm is the second "bomb cyclone" of the year after America's east coast was slammed with 70mph blizzards in January.

Winter Storm Riley dropped more than 30.5cm of snow in western and northern parts of NY state, as heavy rain lashed coastal areas.

With the worst over by Saturday, people from ME to Georgia emerged from homes to take stock of damage from a storm that could be more destructive than the rapidly intensifying "bomb cyclone" that struck the Eastern Seaboard two months ago.

The weather service added that winds could continue through the weekend.

New York City is seeing a mix of rain, snow, sleet and winds. The biggest threats there are hurricane-force wind gusts and flooding, Jones said. A foot of snow has already fallen in parts of eastern MA. It's also making plans to use buses if trains at JFK or Newark airports must stop because of wind.

President Donald Trump, who travelled to North Carolina for the funeral for the Rev. Billy Graham, was forced to fly out of Dulles instead of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is housed, because of high winds.

The Eastern Seaboard was getting buffeted by wind gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour, with possible hurricane-strength winds of 80 to 90 miles per hour on Cape Cod.

The storm's aftermath also was still affecting travel, with airports from Washington, Boston reporting dozens of delays and cancellations, while service was slowly returning to normal on rail systems throughout the region.

Strong winds will affect several states, from SC to Maine.

Over 3,000 domestic flights were canceled Friday and hundreds on Saturday.

Several airlines, including Delta, United and Southwest, are offering fee waivers for flight cancellations or changes involving airports in affected cities.

In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker activated 200 National Guard members.

And the Boston Globe reported more than 1,800 people told Scituate officials they had evacuated.

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