US Northeast digs out of blizzard after brutal storm killed more than a dozen

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Street crews in the U.S. Northeast raced through the night into Friday to clear snow-clogged streets after a powerful blizzard and restore power to homes ahead of a brutal cold spell that has killed more than a dozen people in the United States.

From Baltimore to Caribou, Maine efforts were underway to clear roadways of ice and snow as wind chill temperatures were to plunge during the day, reaching -40 F (-40 C) in some parts after sundown, according to the National Weather Service.

Utility companies across the East worked to repair downed power lines early on Friday as about 21,000 customers remained without electricity, down from almost 80,000 the day before, and issued warnings that temperatures may become dangerously low.

"If the temperature in your home begins to fall, we recommend taking shelter elsewhere until service can be restored. You can find warming centers by contacting local authorities," National Grid power company, which serves Massachusetts, said on Twitter.

The storm, packing winds gusts of more than 70 miles per hour (113 kph), dumped a foot or more of snow throughout the region, including Boston and parts New Jersey and Maine, where heavy snow continued to fall early on Friday.

18 PHOTOS
'Bomb cyclone' as seen from space
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'Bomb cyclone' as seen from space
(Photo via Colorado State University/NOAA)
Hey folks, GOES-E (formerly GOES-16) is in 1-minute rapid scan mode for today's impressive, explosive, high-impact… https://t.co/DKjHoZH1SM
FWIW...@NWSWPC just analyzed central pressure of 957 mb at 7 a.m. EST. A 53 mb drop in 21 hours, per their analyses… https://t.co/X9NGIma11J
Global perspective on just how expansive this Nor'Easter is... https://t.co/F5OIfwB6ZE
(Photo via Colorado State University/NOAA)
Impressive GOES-16 high resolution infrared satellite imagery showing explosive cyclogenesis/rapid intensification… https://t.co/VWg3kwkro4
It's not a hurricane but it has an "eye-like" feature where warmer air is trapped, encircled, or "secluded" by a be… https://t.co/UVSKib4e4i
https://t.co/x2OuTUB8BA
Down to 957 mb! https://t.co/BJ4noWv2lG
I like the 'true color' option for #GOES16 becasue it looks like an old-timey image you'd see in a textbook or on… https://t.co/HDxxzSY4OG
Amazing WV sat. You can watch the convective bands bubble up as warm air is lifted and intense precipitation is pr… https://t.co/IAIg3wUnpb
Airmass option is another winner. So many to choose from. #blizzard https://t.co/xB61L9QNYT
The @NOAA #GOES16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper continues to detect #lightning flashes in heavy snow on Long Islan… https://t.co/ZLP4wUVHE9
Sub-960mb extratropical low sitting near 37N latitude. Unbelievable. Deepening rate is over 2.9 Bergerons now. Th… https://t.co/a3eknGD4Ys
The many faces of our #blizzard today. Spectacular beasts from space. https://t.co/X98DBpntLY
Our nor'easter is opening its eye and saying good morning to GOES16 as the sun crests the horizon. Another image t… https://t.co/giT7bvi8ie
One minute interval visible satellite imagery as powerful coastal storm /Blizzard of 2018/ cranks off the East Coas… https://t.co/ykgAGDaa9X
Snowpack along the Southeast Coast left behind by the powerful cyclone now east of Atlantic City #gawx #scwx #ncwx… https://t.co/zICba0XjLz
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Many East Coast communities ordered drivers to stay off the roads and closed schools on Friday. Schools in Boston and Baltimore canceled classes while Newark, New Jersey schools were opening two hours later than usual on Friday.

The storm on Thursday caused a 3-foot (0.9-metre) tidal surge which flooded the area around Boston's historic Long Wharf with icy seawater. Firefighters used an inflatable raft to rescue one motorist from a car submerged in water up to its door handles, Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn told reporters.

The storm forced thousands of flights to be canceled and New York City's two main airports halted flights because of whiteout conditions.

"Fliers are urged to contact their airlines for information on resumption of specific flights before going to the airport," said JFK on Twitter as the airport announced that flights would resume at 7 a.m. Friday.

Passenger train operator Amtrak said it reduced service on several routes in the Northeast on Friday, including its train between Washington D.C. and Boston. Transit systems including New York's Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter lines reduced service and told passengers to expect delays on Friday.

The storm was powered by a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters called a bombogenesis, or a "bomb cyclone." It brought high winds and swift, heavy snowfall.

The wintry weather has been blamed for at least 14 deaths in the past few days, including three in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas because of the cold.

44 PHOTOS
Bomb cyclone hits the East Coast
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Bomb cyclone hits the East Coast
A woman struggles against wind and snow in upper Manhattan during a snowstorm in New York City, New York, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A nearly empty snow-covered roadway entrance to the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is seen during a snowstorm in Fort Lee, New Jersey, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A worker clears snow from the front of the New York Stock Exchange during a snowstorm in New York, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Da Thi Hoang and Searidang Pa wait at Logan International Airport, after successfully flying in from Los Angeles only to find their bus to Middlebury, Vermont was cancelled, during a winter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Crews clear snow from around the gates at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A snow-covered statue of former U.S. president George Washington at Federal Hall on Wall Street is seen during a snowstorm in New York City, New York, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW HAVEN, CT - JANUARY 04: Ice flows through the New Haven Harbor on January 4, 2018 in New Haven, Connecticut. The 'bomb cyclone' was expected to dump heavy snows in New England as the storm system moved up the U.S. east coast. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 04: Architect of the Capitol Mason Perry Curtis shovels snow in front of the U.S. Capitol January 4, 2018 in Washington, United States. A large winter storm system dropped less than an inch of snow in Washington and is covering the East Coast with high winds and frigid temperatures. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW HAVEN, CT - JANUARY 04: A city worker digs out a bus from the snow on January 4, 2018 in New Haven, Connecticut. The 'bomb cyclone' was expected to dump heavy snows in New England as the storm system moved up the U.S. east coast. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
SAVANNAH, GA - JANUARY 04: Dylan Zitto slides down a snow covered hill a day after snow fell in the area on January 4, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia. From Maine to Florida every state along the east coast is expected to have to deal with winter weather. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 04: A light snow shrouds the Washington Monument on the National Mall January 4, 2018 in Washington, United States. A large winter storm system dropped less than an inch of snow in Washington and is covering the East Coast with high winds and frigid temperatures. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 04: Daniel Andujar, 47, uses a tennis racket to clean his truck of snow on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A 'bomb cycle' winter storm, has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Ice and snow cover branches near the brink of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
De-icing road salt is piled up in preparation for winter snow storms at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S., January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Snow flurries fall near the American Falls, viewed from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
SAVANNAH, GA - JANUARY 04: Snow covers cars along a street as snow and cold weather blanket the area on January 4, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia. The extreme winter storm pummeled the Southeastern United States and is moving towards the east coast with frigid temperatures and heavy wind and snow. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SAVANNAH, GA - JANUARY 04: Ice forms on the water fountain in Forsyth Park as snow and cold weather blanket the area on January 4, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia. The extreme winter storm pummeled the Southeastern United States and is moving towards the east coast with frigid temperatures and heavy wind and snow. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SAVANNAH, GA - JANUARY 04: Little snowmen are seen on a bench in Forsyth Park as snow and cold weather blanket the area on January 4, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia. The extreme winter storm pummeled the Southeastern United States and is moving towards the east coast with frigid temperatures and heavy wind and snow. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SAVANNAH, GA - JANUARY 04: Ice forms on the water fountain in Forsyth Park as snow and cold weather blanket the area on January 4, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia. The extreme winter storm pummeled the Southeastern United States and is moving towards the east coast with frigid temperatures and heavy wind and snow. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A departure board at Ronald Reagan airport, near Washington, DC, posts several cancelled flights early January 4, 2018 as winter storm Grayson sets in on the East Coast. The National Weather Service said the rapidly deepening area of low pressure off Florida's east coast will move northeastward bringing snow to the southern mid-Atlantic coast and then to New England as it moves towards the Canadian Maritimes by Friday. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images)
A plane sits on the tarmac at Ronald Reagan airport, near Washington, DC, before departure January 4, 2018. The US National Weather Service warned that a major winter storm would bring heavy snow and ice, from Florida in the southeast up to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. / AFP PHOTO / Eva Claire HAMBACH (Photo credit should read EVA CLAIRE HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker spreads salt on a sidewalk on January 4, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. The US National Weather Service warned that a major winter storm would bring heavy snow and ice, from Florida in the southeast up to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers shovel a sidewalk of snow and ice on January 4, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. The US National Weather Service warned that a major winter storm would bring heavy snow and ice, from Florida in the southeast up to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04: Commuters make their way through the snow in Downtown Brooklyn, on January 4, 2018 in New York City. As a major winter storm moves up the Northeast corridor, New York City is under a winter storm warning and forecasts are predicting six to eight inches of snow. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A car is seen covered in snow in Long Beach, New York, U.S. January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Workers remove snow during a snowstorm in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
A United States Postal Service (USPS) letter carrier delivers mail during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pedestrian carries an umbrella while walking through the Boston Common during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pedestrians walk through the Boston Common iduring a snow storm n Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pedestrian walks during a snow storm in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man operates a snowplow on a sidewalk during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pedestrians walk past the George Washington Statue in the Boston Public Garden during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The George Washington Statue stands in the Boston Public Garden during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Commuters board the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Massachusetts Avenue train during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pedestrians clear the sidewalks outside of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Massachusetts Avenue station during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pedestrian walks through the Boston Common during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man clears shovels a walk way during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 04: A woman walks through snow covered streets on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A �omb cyclone�winter storm, has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
United States Postal Service (USPS) letter carriers deliver mail during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A fast-moving winter storm, growing stronger by the hour, has grounded 3,000 flights, delayed rail travelers in the busy Northeast Corridor and closed schools in New York and Boston. Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 04: A man walks through snow covered streets on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A �omb cyclone�winter storm, has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 04: A man walks through snow covered streets on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A �omb cyclone�winter storm, has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
A woman makes her way during a winter storm in New York on January 4, 2018. A giant winter 'bomb cyclone' walloped the US East Coast on Thursday with freezing cold and heavy snow, forcing thousands of flight cancellations and widespread school closures -- and even prompting the US Senate to cancel votes for the rest of the week. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 04: A woman walks through snow covered streets on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A �omb cyclone�winter storm, has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 04: Thom Meyers, 67, trudges with a cane through snow covered streets on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A �omb cyclone�winter storm, has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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Nearly 500 members of the National Guard were activated along the East Coast to assist with emergency response, including 200 in New York state, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.

Officials reported traffic accidents throughout the Northeast and the storm's reach extended to eastern Canada.

On Wednesday, the same storm brought historic cities in the Southeastern United States their heaviest snowfall in three decades.

(Additonal reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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