A New Jersey man died Thursday after driving around a traffic cone barricade and striking a live wire downed by Wednesday’s nor’easter snow storm that pummeled the East Coast.
Police in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, said the man’s vehicle hit the wire, sparking a fire that engulfed the car at about 9 a.m. Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
The man, whose name was not immediately made public, adds to the growing list of fatalities caused by the storm. An 88-year-old woman was killed in Suffern, New York, on Wednesday by a downed tree. As the storm made its cross-country trek to northeast, it left five dead in its wake. At least four — including a mother and son who were buried when snow fell off a roof — were killed in California, and another in North Dakota as the storm barreled across the plains, according to The Weather Channel.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, where the bulk of the storm was felt in the Philadelphia area and up the eastern border, more than 110,000 customers were left without power. According to Peco, one of the main energy providers in the area, 55,500 customers were without service Thursday morning, and by 3:15 p.m., there were still 37,364 customers affected and 1,610 active outages, mostly in Berks County.
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Utility crews were kept especially busy Thursday, as they were still also dealing with tens of thousands of outages remaining from a weekend storm that raked the state last Friday, when high winds downed transmission lines from Erie to Philadelphia.
Most of Pennsylvania was largely spared by the storm in comparison to its neighbors to the north. The Philadelphia airport recorded about 6 inches of snow, while parts of New England, New York and New Jersey received about 2 feet. But the foretasted snow was enough to cancel schools and close municipal offices. Many flights out of the Philadelphia airport were canceled or delayed, Amtrak service was modified across the region, and PennDOT placed travel restrictions on the interstates.
Gov. Tom wolf declared a state of emergency Tuesday evening so extra personnel would be available to monitor conditions and respond to needs.