Strong Winds Leave Thousands Without Power Along the East Coast

Strong winds and heavy rains toppled trees and brought down power lines from Maine to Maryland on Saturday, sending utility crews scrambling to restore power to thousands.

Wind gusts exceeding 50 mph knocked out power Saturday to nearly a quarter-million people in the New York City area.

The worst problems were on Long Island, where 78,683 customers — about 228,000 people — were without power at noon. Crews restored electricity to many of those, but winds knocked down more wires later in the afternoon.

About 7,500 customers still lacked power on Long Island on Saturday evening.

Gusts up to 70 mph were recorded in Maine, and nearly 48,000 people were without power Saturday evening.

Officials were monitoring small rivers and streams for potential flooding. The Coast Guard put units on alert and issued warnings to mariners.

An estimated 30,000 homes in central and eastern Massachusetts lost power. The National Weather Service said that a flood warning would be in effect across the state Sunday, and that winds could take out more power lines.

Nearly 9,000 people were in the dark in Maryland, Baltimore Gas and Electric reported. Utility crews were expected to continue working power Sunday.

In central and northern New Jersey, the winds toppled trees and power lines, cutting power to about 6,000 customers. That number was down to 2,000 by Saturday night.

A wind advisory issued for the entire state was expected to remain in effect through Sunday night, with winds from 20 to 30 mph and gusts reaching 45 mph.

In New Hampshire, a man drowned after his kayak overturned in Jackson and he was swept downstream, officials said. The East Branch River was running fast because of the heavy rains, said Sgt. Jim Juneau of the New Hampshire Fish and Game office.