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Storm brings new round of power outages

John Daneau took this picture of power lines holding up a tree on Breakheart Hill Road in West Greenwich. (Submitted photo)

The second major storm in less than a week walloped Southern New England into early Thursday morning, dumping heavy snow and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses across the region.

Schools districts across the region were closed or operating on a delay.

National Grid reported that as of 10 a.m., 18,500 homes and business were without power in Rhode Island, mostly in Providence County. The utility said about 6,800 of its customers in Bristol County, Massachusetts, had no electricity.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said all offices for non-emergency state executive branch employees will be closed Thursday.

"Overnight, heavy snowfall and high winds have resulted in hazardous driving conditions. With several communities experiencing power outages and downed trees, the administration is urging residents to stay off roadways and to use public transportation when possible," a statement from the governor's office said.

Storm Team 10 said areas of northwest Rhode Island had up to 13 inches of snow, while Pawtucket had 3 inches.

Some places saw more than 2 feet of snow by late Wednesday. Montville, New Jersey, got more than 26 inches from the 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 made traveling treacherous. Thousands of flights across the region were canceled.

It was not much better on the ground. Members of the Northeastern University women's basketball team pushed their bus back on course after it was stuck in the snow outside a practice facility in Philadelphia. The Huskies were in the city to compete in the 2018 CAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The team posted a video of the feat on its Twitter account.

T.F. Green Airport reported some cancelled flights Thursday morning, but all departures from 7 a.m. on were listed as "on time." Travelers should check their flight status before heading to the airport.

Amtrak said it had resumed modified service between Boston and New York City. New York City's Metro-North commuter railroad operated reduced service on lines connecting the city to its northern suburbs and Connecticut because of downed trees. It was not immediately known when service would be restored.

"It's kind of awful," said New York University student Alessa Raiford, who put two layers of clothing on a pug named Jengo before taking him for a walk in slushy, sloppy Manhattan, where rain gave way to wet snow in the afternoon. "I'd rather that it be full-on snowing than rain and slush. It just makes it difficult."

The storm was not predicted to be as severe as the nor'easter that toppled trees, inundated 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.

In New Jersey, the state's major utilities reported more than 300,000 customers without power by late Wednesday, with some left over from last week. Utilities across the Northeast also reported tens of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through Thursday for most of New England as the storm continued to make its way through.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, public works crews late Wednesday had a hard time keeping up with the snow.

"It's heavy. Well, it was so warm earlier that it just melted when it hit the ground and now it's heavy," said Jesse Nadeau. "It's the heaviest part of the storm right now for the next couple of hours. Heavy and wet."

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.

Porter reported from Newark, New Jersey. Associated Press writers Michael Catalini in Morrisville, Pennsylvania; Michael Sisak and Rod Hicks in Philadelphia; Wayne Parry in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Bruce Shipkowski in Toms River, New Jersey, and Rodrique Ngowi in Worcester, Massachusetts, contributed.

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