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Nor'easter kills seven, cuts power to 300,000

  • NEW: Five deaths blamed on falling trees
  • 86,000 without power in New York City and Westchester County, Con Ed says
  • Some customers will be without power for days, Long Island utility says

(CNN) -- Authorities have linked seven deaths to the nor'easter affecting the Eastern Seaboard, and more than 300,000 customers remained without power Monday in the Northeast after rain and fierce winds.

Hurricane-force winds over the weekend toppled trees, taking power lines with them. Five of the weekend's deaths were caused by falling trees, authorities said.

Two people died in New Jersey; authorities from Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, West Virginia and New York each said they had one storm-related death.

Heavy rain also caused flooding across the region.

Flood warnings were in effect from northern Virginia to southern New Hampshire, the National Weather Service said.

The city of Alexandria, along the Potomac River across from Washington, distributed nearly 800 sandbags to those in low-lying areas that typically are first to see high water. A coffee shop there experienced minor flooding, said Alexandria official Rich Baier.

Some coastal areas have received more than 6 inches of rain since Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

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Con Edison said that more than 86,000 customers were without power Monday in New York City and Westchester County, New York, while the Long Island Power Authority said that 64,437 customers were in the dark. In New Jersey, about 100,000 were without power. Flooding caused 2,000 customers in New Jersey to lose their gas service, PSEG said.

Connecticut Light and Power said that about 56,000 customers also had no power Monday. And in Pennsylvania, utility companies had restored power to a majority of residents, but the outage still affected more than 5,000.

"The ground is so wet from all the snow we've had this winter, it's helping the trees to topple over as well as our utility poles," said Long Island Power Authority President and CEO Kevin Law. "The conditions are still too terrible to get crews out there."

Some customers probably will go without power for a few days, Law said.

The outages were due mostly to power lines downed by Saturday's winds, which knocked over trees and utility polls. Wind speeds reached 75 mph at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport -- as strong as a Category 1 hurricane -- and 72 mph in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

In Connecticut, the lingering effects of wind and rain from the weekend were apparent just by looking at the streets, according to J.P. McNamara, an iReporter in Fairfield, along the coast.

"The beach area of Fairfield experienced high tides that flooded streets with ... water and sand on Saturday night," McNamara said Monday. "Many roads are still blocked off because of fallen trees and limbs, and it seems that this occurrence is widespread."

James Durosier, an iReporter from Rahway, New Jersey, said the storm's aftermath reminded him of a scene from an action movie.

"The way the whole scene looked was just incredible," Durosier said Sunday of the damage in the area. "Power lines were hanging, street signs knocked down, and it was very quiet."

Brian DeNicola of Sayreville, New Jersey, said he has opened his home to three friends who don't have any power or hot water to shower. He said he lost electricity for about an hour Saturday evening and had to use a vacuum to relieve his basement of flooding.

DeNicola said he's eager for spring's arrival Saturday.

"Oh, thank God, it's almost here," he said. "We're ready. We've had it with this stuff."

CNN's Paul Courson, Edmund DeMarche, Henry Hanks and Khadijah Rentas contributed to this report.