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East Coast storm drops 15 inches of snow in places

A powerful storm bringing damp snow and heavy winds churned its way up the East Coast on Saturday, dumping up to 15 inches of snow in some places and knocking out power for more than 2 million customers. Three deaths were being blamed on the storm.

“This is unprecedented in the last 100 years — for October,” Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston, said in an interview with The Times.

The storm is expected to continue into early Sunday, possibly worsening as it moves north.

By Saturday evening, 15.5 inches of snow had fallen in West Milford, N.J.; 14.3 inches in Plainfield, Mass.; and about 10 inches in Terra Alta, W.Va., and Ogletown, Pa.

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Power outages were affecting more than 2.3 million residents and businesses from Maryland to Massachusetts, including more than half a million in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts declared emergencies statewide, as did New York in 13 counties.

The snow and powerful winds of up to 60 mph could leave more people without power by knocking down power lines and trees with leafy branches, Barry Lambert, a National Weather Service meteorologist in State College, Pa., told The Times.

On the plus side, the wet, sloppy nature of the snow might prove beneficial.

“It’s so wet that it was actually melting quickly and sliding off the trees,” he said.

In New York, the 1.3 inches of snow that had fallen at Central Park by midday made this month the snowiest October since record-keeping began in 1869.

stephen.ceasar@latimes.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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