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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wintery mix dumps record snow on New York, leaves thousands without power

house on Sherman St. in Brooklyn during a rare snow storm on Saturday, October 29, 2011.

It's no trick OR treat - New Yorkers grappled with the biggest October snowstorm in its history Saturday, with up to 10 inches expected to blanket streets by Saturday evening.

"It's been a pretty dynamic situation," said Joe Picca, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

This is only the fourth time the city has had measurable snow before Halloween — and its the most by far.

By 2 p.m., Central Park measured 1.3 inches, beating out the previous record for the month. The final count was expected to hit between 7 to 10 inches, said Picca, who blamed the record snowfall on the chilly temperatures.

"It's been trending colder and colder so we are seeing more sites switching from rain to snow," he said.

The unseasonable snowstorm slammed states from the Mid—Atlantic to New England, adding a tricky element to pre-Halloween parties, the football season and other outdoor events.

The weather delayed flights at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, disrupted subway service, closed highways and caused power outages throughout the area. Putnam and Orange counties could get a foot of snow, Picca said.

By early evening, 1.5 million people across the East Coast were without power, reported. More than 200,000 people's power were affected by the storm in Connecticut, Connecticut Light and Power told CNN while First Energy reported 112,000 people were left in the dark in New Jersey. In New York, 88,000 people were reported to be without power and in Pennsylvania a whopping 428,000 people lost power, the Associated Press reported.

In Jackson Heights, Queens, a downed tree fell on five cars, blocking off much of 73rd St.

"It was a huge tree. It's completely bad," said 60-year-old Ralph Rivera. "Snow before Halloween? I was shocked."

By midday, the city's Office of Emergency Management issued a winter travel warning, telling drivers and pedestrians to take extra caution on the slippery streets. They also advised people that strong winds could down trees and power lines.

Indeed, snow in October is unusual.

There has been measurable snow during the month in 1952, 1925 and 1870, according to the National Weather Service. Each time, less than an inch has stuck.

Nor'easter Drops Snow, Rain, On NY :

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