NEW YORK — Nearly 1 million homes and businesses remained without power Thursday as the second powerful winter storm in a week roared out of the Northeast — while forecasters warned a third could be just days away.
A fresh storm system could bring snow and wind from the Mid-Atlantic to New England on Sunday and Monday, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
"The (third) storm will reach the southern Atlantic coast and may ... reorganize, strengthen and turn northward," he said. That would mean more trouble for the Northeast.
Pydynowski offered some hope, saying that the most likely scenario is a close call but no major storm for the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston. That would be good news for tens of millions of people still digging out from two nor'easters that forced the cancellation of thousands of flights and delayed many more.
The wet, heavy snow and high winds that bashed much of the region Wednesday and Thursday knocked down trees and toppled power lines. The storm hit while thousands of residents remained in the dark from the "bomb cyclone" that blew through last week.
That nor'easter toppled tractor-trailers and knocked out power to 2 million homes and businesses.
"Customers who are still without power for days are rightfully frustrated," said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. "We will hold utility companies accountable to the people of New Jersey."
New York City was in recovery mode Thursday, a day after six or more hours of heavy snow and sleet battered the area. City authorities dispatched fleets of snowplows, mostly converted garbage trucks, to the streets.
Some of the biggest snow totals were in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, where several spots were slammed with up to three feet, the National Weather Service said. By Thursday morning, 36 inches had fallen in Woodford, Vt., 32 inches in Clarksburg, Mass., 31 inches in Kinnelon, N.J., and 28 inches in Warren, Ct.
Parts of northern New England faced another 18 inches of snow or more before the storm finally moves out Friday.
"Heavy snowfall and high winds have resulted in hazardous driving conditions," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker tweeted. "The administration is urging residents to stay off roadways and to use public transportation when possible."
This storm's ferocity included bouts of "thundersnow" — lightning and thunder. A 33-year-old eighth-grade teacher in Manchester Township, N.J., suffered non-life-threatening injuries when she was struck by lightning while holding an umbrella outside her school.
The website PowerOutage.US counted more than 350,000 homes and businesses without power Thursday in Massachusetts alone. New Jersey totaled almost 250,000; New York and Connecticut tallied more than 300,000. Outages were also starting to roll in from Maine.
"We’ll weather this storm together & have all our customers back as fast as we safely can," tweeted PSE&G, New Jersey's largest electric and gas utility. "Mother Nature can’t keep us down."