Power Outages Linger in Northeast After Storm

Removing snow

Utility companies say it may be Wednesday before power is restored in some communities hit this weekend by a rare October snowstorm that slammed the Northeast, hampering travel and knocking out power to millions.

Pictured: Sarah Arel clears heavy snow from the roof of her house on Sunday.

The storm packed wet, heavy snow that brought down trees with leaf-laden branches and left many roads impassable for crews trying to restore power, said Scott Surgeoner, spokesman for Pennsylvania utility Metropolitan Edison.

The storm also cut visibility, causing hours-long delays and forcing airport officials in New York City and Newark, N.J., to divert planes elsewhere. Passengers on at least three JetBlue planes and one American Airline plane said they were stranded on the tarmac for seven hours or more at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn., after being diverted from New York-area airports on Saturday.

JetBlue spokeswoman Victoria Lucia said Sunday that the airline diverted six flights to Hartford, which experienced intermittent power outages, disrupting refueling and disembarking. She added that the passengers would be reimbursed.

JetBlue could face legal problems from the delays. In 2007, passengers in JetBlue planes were stranded for nearly 11 hours at New York‘s Kennedy Airport following snow and ice storms. A federal regulation that went into effect last year subjects airlines to fines as high as $27,500 per passenger for holding flights on the tarmac for more than three hours. Lucia said an investigation is underway.

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Source: Oren Dorell and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

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