Nor'easter lashes East Coast

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 6:03 PM ET, Tue October 26, 2021
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3:16 p.m. ET, October 26, 2021

Here's how much rain has fallen in areas of the New York metro region

A woman walks a dog in Brooklyn, New York, on October 26.
A woman walks a dog in Brooklyn, New York, on October 26. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

The National Weather Service in New York has updated rainfall totals in the metro area, with Newark, New Jersey, receiving more than three inches of rain and Central Park measuring 2.73 inches.

The weather service advised that rain bands will circulate over the region for about the next 12 hours.

2:46 p.m. ET, October 26, 2021

Tips for staying safe during a power outage 

The nor'easter has caused some power outages in parts of the East Coast. Damaging winds are expected to blow down trees and power lines in certain areas. A high wind warning was in place for parts of eastern Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

"Widespread power outages are expected," according to the National Weather Service. "Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles."

Eversource Energy, New England's largest energy provider, warned that more than 100,000 customers could lose power in the storm, as early season nor'easters present a greater risk to power lines because the leaves are still on the trees.

If you lose power, here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Take stock of the essentials: In case the power outage lasts a few days, you should have the following on hand: A three- to seven-day supply of food and water, flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, extra medicine and first-aid supplies.
  • Be careful of carbon monoxide: Generators can release poisonous carbon monoxide if you use them inside your home. If you're using one this week, keep it outside, about 20 feet away from your home, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises.
  • Food safety: After four hours, some food in your fridge may not be safe to eat. The CDC advises that while the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors shut as much as possible to keep food colder for longer.
  • Water safety: Some water purification systems may not function fully when the power goes out, the CDC warns. You can check with local officials to make sure your water is safe — they should give you specific recommendations for treating water in your area. Additionally, to avoid freezing pipes, let your taps drip.

If you have low bandwidth, use CNN's lite site to get the latest updates on conditions in your area.

CNN's Scottie Andrew, Monica Garrett, Jason Hanna and Dave Hennen contributed reporting to this post. 

3:14 p.m. ET, October 26, 2021

These are the highest wind speeds of the nor'easter so far

A person struggles with their umbrella during an autumn nor'easter in Brooklyn, New York, on October 26.
A person struggles with their umbrella during an autumn nor'easter in Brooklyn, New York, on October 26. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Connecticut and Long Island have seen some of the highest wind speeds during today's nor'easter. According to the National Weather Service, here are some of the highest reports over the past 24 hours:

Connecticut

  • Norwalk: 60 mph
  • New Haven Airport: 55 mph
  • Groton: 54 mph
  • Greenwich: 54 mph

New York

  • Great Gull Island: 52 mph
  • Orient: 52 mph
  • Shinnecock: 50 mph

1:36 p.m. ET, October 26, 2021

Long Island leaders say nor'easter has had limited impacts so far

From CNN’s Sahar Akbarzai and Alex Harring

Leaders on New York's Long Island are reporting limited impacts from the nor'easter so far.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday she is keeping a watchful eye on the nor’easter, but she doesn’t expect the effects of the storm to be on the same scale and as devastating as Tropical Storm Ida.

“It is always better to be over prepared…and we always want to stay one step ahead,” Curran stated. 

Curran said there have already been a couple dozen power outages in Nassau County. The rain and wind will continue until tomorrow morning, and said they’re “looking out for the potential of fallen trees, fallen limbs, down power lines.” 

At least 16 car crashes have already occurred in Nassau County. Curran urged everyone to drive with caution and warned people to be watchful of flooding, which can occur due to high tides around the later afternoon. 

Medics and the police department will be on standby to help anyone in distress, Curran said. 

Meanwhile, Suffolk County leaders are following New York state’s lead in issuing an emergency declaration as they anticipate worse winds that could cause widespread power outages, downed wires and trees and road issues. 

The storm has had limited impact of rain so far that county officials and crews can manage, acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said. However, heavy rain and strong wind create may result is worsened driving conditions and widespread power loss as the winds likely pick up tonight, according to County Executive Steven Bellone.

“You’ve got a storm that is delivering both heavy rains and high winds, which poses significant challenges of course,” Bellone said.

The rain has been heavy enough at points to obscure visibility for drivers, Cameron said. The county saw 23 motor vehicle crashes between midnight and 11:15 a.m. ET.

CNN’s Kelly Christ contributed to this report.

1:19 p.m. ET, October 26, 2021

NYC mayor says city received two to three inches of rain since nor'easter began

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

New York City received between two to three inches of rainfall since the nor’easter began hitting the region last night, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. The city received reports of wind gusts up to 29 miles per hour in Central Park and up to 39 miles per hour at LaGuardia Airport 

De Blasio said that his administration was remaining vigilant about the storm, which hit on the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

“Hopefully, now, we’ve seen the worst of it,” de Blasio said. 

As of Tuesday morning, approximately 200 customers were without power but Con Edison is on the scene, Andrew D'Amora, acting Commissioner of New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM), said. 

De Blasio said custodial staff at 250 schools around the city stayed overnight to make sure there were no flooding issues for children heading into class Tuesday morning. 

Teams dropped 450 sandbags in key areas like Queens and 4,500 catch basins were cleaned by NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Sanitation. 

D’Amora said NYC’s Emergency Operation Center opened up Monday night and will be open through the remainder of the storm, adding that the city activated its flash flood emergency plan on Sunday in anticipation of the effects of the nor’easter. 

“At this time, there are some roads in the city that flooded but were passable,” D’Amora said in his update on city conditions. The MTA had a brief suspension of service on the Staten Island Rail Service, but no other reports of disruptions to subway trains were reported, D’Amora said. 

De Blasio addressed concerns as to why he decided not to hold a briefing Monday night to address storm concerns, saying “What we saw Monday morning has held throughout — we didn't see a major change in the storm.” 

“What we've done now is to bring in additional forecasting services, beyond NWS to constantly monitor…the warnings that were being provided during the day on Monday proved to be consistent to what we saw as we went into late night Monday and again Tuesday morning,” de Blasio said. 

12:17 p.m. ET, October 26, 2021

The nor'easter's impacts on New Jersey, by the numbers

From CNN’s Taylor Romine          

A barricade blocks access to a road flooded by rain in Branchburg, New Jersey, on Tuesday, October 26.
A barricade blocks access to a road flooded by rain in Branchburg, New Jersey, on Tuesday, October 26. (Matt Rourke/AP)

New Jersey is preparing for a long storm lasting through the night with heavy winds in the afternoon and evening, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday. 

Here's a look at how the storm has impacted the state so far:

  • Earlier in the morning, there were 10 counties under a flood warning, accounting for about 6.3 million residents, while 11 counties are under a flood watch advisory, according to Murphy.  
  • As of this morning, there are about 3,200 power outages around the state, he said, but emphasized that outages are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as higher wind speeds are expected in the afternoon.  
  • So far, most of the state has received about an inch of rain while coastal areas have gotten about two inches. Murphy also said that winds in inland areas are expected to be around 20 to 25 mph, with coastal areas ranging higher from 30 to 45 mph. 
  • State troopers have responded to 188 accidents and 81 motorist aid calls so far, said State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan, and asked people to stay off the road if they can. 

When asked if Hurricane Ida changed his mindset in preparing for future storms like today's, Murphy said that each storm is different with different conditions.

11:08 a.m. ET, October 26, 2021

There have been more than a dozen water rescues in one New Jersey town

From CNN's Laura Ly

(Union Beach Police)
(Union Beach Police)

Police search-and-rescue vehicles are traversing flood waters in Union Beach, New Jersey. 

Police Chief Michael J. Woodrow said such vehicles were used throughout the night with their fire and emergency services partners in making over a dozen water rescues since severe rain and flooding began affecting the region. 

There were no injuries reported in any of the rescues and no one has required any first aid or hospital care, Woodrow said.

“Fortunately our highly trained officers are able to reach traditionally inaccessible areas with these vehicles, especially when time is of the essence. Our playbook was created from lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy as well as other meteorological events,” Woodrow said.  

Woodrow added that the town has gotten “countless” calls for service and multiple vehicles have been submerged in water. High tide is expected at 11 a.m. ET, Woodrow said. 

The police chief said their officers are “more than prepared to deal with any and all emergencies,” given the town’s past experience with severe weather.  

9:55 a.m. ET, October 26, 2021

The East Coast is getting a nor'easter today. Here's what that means.

A nor'easter is a storm along the East Coast with winds typically coming from the northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms can occur at any time of year but are most common between September and April.

In winter, temperatures associated with a nor'easter can be much more extreme than in the fall, which can lead to more intense storms and snow. The storms can cause beach erosion and rough ocean conditions, with winds of 58 mph or more.

And about that name? According to the National Weather Service, "A Nor’easter is a storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast."

11:09 a.m. ET, October 26, 2021

Where the most rain has fallen so far

Pedestrians walk through the rain in New York, on Tuesday, October 26.
Pedestrians walk through the rain in New York, on Tuesday, October 26. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Here are some of the highest rainfall amounts during the nor'easter so far, according to the National Weather Service.

Some areas in northern New Jersey saw rainfall near 4 inches:

  • New Providence in Union County: 3.95"
  • Little Falls in Passaic County: 3.92"
  • Waldwick in Bergen County: 3.79"
  • North Arlington in Bergen County: 3.77"
  • Oakland in Bergen County: 3.70"
  • Secaucus in Hudson County: 3.66"
  • Wayne in Passaic County: 3.63"

Staten Island in New York has seen rainfall of 3.48", while midtown Manhattan recorded 3 inches so far.