Northeast US tries to dig out, power up after latest storm

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A man clears snow off of his car on State Street in Danbury, Connecticut, during a snowstorm on March 7, 2018. (Carol Kaliff/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP)
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Pedestrians walk along Delancey St. during a snowstorm on March 7, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Northeast US tries to dig out, power up after latest storm

HARTFORD, US: Residents in the US Northeast dug out from as much as 2 feet of wet, heavy snow Thursday, while utilities dealt with downed trees and power lines that snarled traffic and left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark after two strong nor’easters — all with the possibility of another storm headed to the area.
With many schools closed for a second day, forecasters tracked the possibility of another late-season snowstorm to run up the coast early next week.
“The strength of it and how close it comes to the coast will make all the difference. At this point it’s too early to say,” said Jim Nodchey, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Massachusetts. “We’re just looking at a chance.”
Snow still was falling Thursday in places including Vermont, where storm warnings were in effect until the evening.
Police say an 88-year-old woman has been killed by a tree that fell and crushed her as she shoveled snow in the New York City suburbs.
Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn told the Journal News that Barbara Suleski was injured around 5 p.m. Wednesday and died at a hospital.
Neighbors were trying to help her when police arrived. Live wires wrapped around the tree made the rescue more difficult.
More than 800,000 customers were without power in the Northeast, including some who have been without electricity since last Friday’s destructive nor’easter. Thousands of flights across the region were canceled, and traveling on the ground was treacherous.
A train carrying more than 100 passengers derailed in Wilmington, Massachusetts, after a fallen tree branch got wedged in a rail switch. Nobody was hurt. Tory Mazzola, a spokesman for Keolis Commuter Services, which runs the system for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said the low-speed derailment remains under investigation.
In New Hampshire, Interstate 95 in Portsmouth was closed in both directions because of downed power lines, leaving traffic at a standstill for hours.
Amtrak restored modified service between New York City and Boston on Thursday after suspending it because of the storm. New York City’s Metro-North commuter railroad, which had suspended service on lines connecting the city to its northern suburbs and Connecticut because of downed trees, restored partial service Thursday.
In Wells, Maine, the Maine Diner remained open even though much of the town was without power after the storm dumped a foot-and-a-half of snow.
“If people are going to lose power, then they need some place to go. We do everything we can to stay open and provide that service,” said Jim MacNeill, the restaurant’s general manager.
Steve Marchillo, a finance director at the University of Connecticut’s Hartford branch, said he enjoyed the sight of heavily snow-laden trees on his way into work Thursday but they also made him nervous.
“It looks cool as long as they don’t fall down on you and you don’t lose power,” he said.
The Mount Snow ski area in Dover, Vermont, received 31 inches of snow by Thursday morning with more still falling. The resort said the snowfall from the past two storms would set it up for skiing through the middle of April.
Montville, New Jersey, got more than 26 inches from Wednesday’s nor’easter. North Adams, Massachusetts, registered 24 inches, and Sloatsburg, New York, got 26 inches.
Major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor saw much less. Philadelphia International Airport recorded about 6 inches, while New York City’s Central Park saw less than 3 inches.
The storm was not as severe as the nor’easter that toppled trees, flooded coastal communities and caused more than 2 million power outages from Virginia to Maine last Friday.
It still proved to be a headache for the tens of thousands of customers still in the dark from the earlier storm — and for the crews trying to restore power to them. Eversource, an electric utility serving Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, said it could take several days to restore power for everyone due partly to the challenge of clearing storm debris and repairing damage.
Massachusetts was hardest hit by outages, with more than 345,000 utility customers losing service Thursday. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker shut down all non-essential state offices.
In Maine, Republican Gov. Paul LePage also closed state offices and encouraged residents to stay off roads “unless it is an absolute emergency.”
In New Jersey, the state’s major utilities reported more than 247,000 customers without power a day after the storm.
An 88-year-old woman in the New York City suburb of Suffern was crushed to death by a tree that fell as she shoveled snow Wednesday afternoon, Police Chief Clarke Osborn old the Journal News.
In North White Plains, New York, 10 people were taken to hospitals with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator inside a home, police said. All were expected to survive.
In Manchester Township, New Jersey, police said a teacher was struck by lightning while holding an umbrella on bus duty outside a school. The woman felt a tingling sensation but didn’t lose consciousness. She was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.


India calls of foreign ministers’ meeting with Pakistan

Updated 11 min 26 sec ago
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India calls of foreign ministers’ meeting with Pakistan

  • The Indian government’s decision to hold talks with Pakistan was strongly criticized by the Congress party and other opposition groups
  • Pakistan said it regretted India’s decision not to meet

NEW DELHI: India called off a planned meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York this month, aggravating tensions between the longtime rivals.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Friday India’s decision to pull out of the meeting, which had been announced just a day earlier, follows the killing of an Indian border guard in Kashmir and Pakistan’s glorification of insurgents fighting Indian rule in the Himalayan territory.
The Indian government’s decision to hold talks with Pakistan was strongly criticized by the Congress party and other opposition groups after rebels in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir killed the border guard and later raided over a dozen homes of police officers and abducted three. The bullet-riddled bodies of the three policemen were recovered Friday. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the insurgents, a charge Pakistan denies.
The announcement on Thursday of the planned meeting had been considered an encouraging sign for restarting stalled talks between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over the disputed region of Kashmir, divided between the two countries but sought by each in its entirety.
Pakistan said it regretted India’s decision not to meet, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying that “clapping can’t be done with a single hand.”
He said Pakistan wanted peace and stability in the region, but that India was perhaps more worried about “internal politics.”
“We want to get out of the past and we have taken a step forward but unfortunately India has taken a step back,” he said in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.
Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said “an extremist segment in India doesn’t want to see Pakistan and India move ahead on the path of dialogue to resolves issues.”
The Indian spokesman said that New Delhi had agreed to hold the meeting in response to a letter from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, stressing the need to bring positive change, a mutual desire for peace, and a readiness to discuss terrorism.
“Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office,” he said in a statement.
Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless, Kumar said.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a formal statement described the comments about Khan as “most unfortunate” and “against all norms of civilized discourse and diplomatic communication.”
Rejecting Indian allegations, the statement said the reasons cited by the Indian side for the cancelation of the meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, were “entirely unconvincing as the alleged killing of BSF soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting.”
India’s relations with Pakistan have deteriorated since Modi came to power in 2014.