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Storms smash East Coast on Sandy anniversary, cutting power

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About five years after Superstorm Sandy hit, an Atlantic front lashed the East Coast and caused outages for close to a million customers this weekend.

The storm was felt strongest, perhaps, in New England as many schools were closed for Monday. Boston-based Eversource Energy reported that falling trees and limbs caused damage to its Massachusetts system overnight.

The utility’s New Hampshire unit reported that some 185,000 customers were without power.

Further south, Public Service Enterprise Group’s outage map showed some 38,000 customers affected by the storm’s high winds and rain. Many of those outages were in the Long Island area.

New England, however, clearly was hit hardest.

The Weather Channel’s website indicated nearly 900,000 outages spread across Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. Connecticut suffered some 150,000 outages with another 200,000 in Rhode Island and Vermont, collectively.

National Grid’s Twitter account informed customers that crews were working around the clock and it would likely be a multi-day restoration. Eversource Energy estimated it had more than 500 line workers in the field.

High winds Monday delayed the restoration efforts, according to a NationalGridUS post on Twitter.

"For the #safety of our crews, we do not send bucket trucks up in winds of 35 mph or higher," the tweet read.

Wind gusts exceeded 70 miles per hour in some places, according to news reports. Flights were cancelled at Boston and New York airports.

PSEG Long Island's Monday afternoon update indicated that less than 20,000 customers were without service. It had restored service to more than 90,000 since early Sunday morning.

Despite its damage and inconveniences, the weekend storm still pales against the devastation of Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012. Sandy caused more than 180 deaths, millions of long-term outages and close to $70 billion in damages.

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