Winter Storm Grayson hits the US East Coast with heavy snow
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US snow: Winter Storm Grayson hits the US East Coast with heavy snow
Winter Storm Grayson has left at least one dead in the Northeast and triggered what officials believe is Massachusett's highest high tide on record as of Thursday.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said flooding from the "historic high tide" prompted the deployment of National Guard high-water rescue vehicles to aid residents and stranded vehicles, the Associated Press reports.

Philadelphia authorities announced a death Thursday as the storm made its sheer power felt by millions.

Local police told AP that a passenger was killed after a vehicle was unable to stop at the bottom of an icy, steep hill and crashed into a commuter train. The driver managed to escape, but the passenger remained inside as the car went through a gate at the railroad crossing. Police later discovered the body along the tracks.

As tides rose in the afternoon hours, coastal areas saw flooding in addition to the wintry precipitation from the storm.

Storm surge poured into the streets in towns like Scituate, Massachusetts, flooding the roads with partially frozen salt water. In the town of Rockport, The Weather Channel storm tracker Jim Cantore watched as water levels rose quickly Thursday afternoon and threatened to wash away several parked cars that were left behind.


In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, the emergency management director reported 75 homes had flooding on their first floors and utilities were compromised, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

North of Plymouth, Massachusetts, fire crews in the town of Duxbury were responding to water rescues in flooded areas, and a house fire was reported, the town's fire department said in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

Icy waters poured into downtown Boston streets Thursday.

"We saw the water going over the sea wall, which was really scary," resident Sonia Calderon told AP. "I don't know what kind of damage that's going to cause, but it's a little scary just to think about it."

The flooding stretched down into Boston's Seaport and all the way up to the Maine coast. Scenes similar to the Massachusetts coast were seen in Kennebunkport, Maine, where roads were under water and chunks of ice flowed from the ocean onto the shore.


In New Jersey, portions of the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway were closed near Atlantic City late Thursday morning because of the conditions.

Fire Destroys Long Island Homes

On the Long Island's remote Oak Island, three unoccupied summer homes were destroyed by a fire during the snowstorm, according to the Associated Press. The homes began to burn and conditions prevented crews from fighting the fire, NBC New York reported.

The blaze eventually burned itself out and there were no injuries, the AP also said. The secluded island is home to about 50 beach houses, the report added.

Car Crashes into New Hampshire Nursing Home

It was a frightening scene at the Hanover Hill Health Care Center on Thursday as a driver lost control of his vehicle in the snowy conditions and crashed into the nursing home in Manchester, according to the AP. The driver crashed into an empty hallway and nobody was injured, WMUR.com reported.

Authorities believe the crash was caused by a combination of speed and the slick conditions created by Grayson, the report added.

Officials Urge Residents to Stay Home

During a news conference held Wednesday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh asked residents to keep their vehicles off of roads, as they would be ticketed and towed after 7 a.m. Thursday. He stressed the usage of the city's alert system and said warming shelters will be open 24/7, and state nonprofits will be working to ensure the safety of the city's homeless.

The National Hockey League postponed a Thursday night game between the Boston Bruins and the visiting Florida Panthers because of Grayson.

Thursday morning, speed limits on the Massachusetts Turnpike were reduced to 40 mph, the Massachusetts State Police announced. This impacted areas from the New York border all the way to Boston.

Boston Public Schools, which were shut down Thursday, will be closed again on Friday.


Amtrak announced it would operate on a modified schedule in the Northeast region; all updates can be found here.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced that it is coordinating with emergency officials to prepare for Grayson and asked residents to come up with individual plans for the storm, WGME.com reported.

Along the New Jersey coast, a state of emergency was declared for Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth counties by Gov. Chris Christie. All state offices were closed Thursday as well.

The New Jersey State Patrol said it responded to more than 150 crashes on state roads Thursday morning, many of which were caused by the winter storm.

Later Thursday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the entire downstate region. In New York City, transit delays were reported Thursday morning and extra snow plows were brought in to deal with the storm, the AP reported.

Thousands of Flights Canceled Across the Region

More than 4,000 flights were canceled nationwide Thursday, nearly all of which were at hubs impacted by Grayson.

According to FlightAware, more than 1,000 of those canceled flights were either arrivals or departures at Newark Liberty International Airport. Boston Logan International Airport had upwards of 700 cancellations, while another 700 flights were called off at New York's LaGuardia Airport.

Officials suspended all flight activity at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York Thursday, according to AP. Operations are expected to resume early Friday. LaGuardia was forced to temporarily close its runways Thursday.

Philadelphia International Airport and Connecticut's Bradley International Airport also had a high number of cancellations because of the storm.