A nor'easter that strengthened into a "bomb cyclone" left hundreds of thousands without electricity in New England by Wednesday morning, and strong winds and heavy rains will continue in places until the storm moves into the Atlantic later in the day.
The storm, which flooded parts of the Northeast on Tuesday, picked up strength as the day progressed and hammered parts of New England with extreme winds -- sometimes with gusts above hurricane strength -- knocking down numerous trees and power lines into Wednesday morning.
More than 630,000 homes and businesses were without power in New England on Wednesday morning, including more than 495,000 in Massachusetts, 96,000 in Rhode Island and 20,000 in Maine, according to PowerOutage.us.
Wind gusts of 74 mph or stronger were recorded Wednesday morning in some parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island -- enough for the National Weather Service to urge coastal residents to stay away from windows. Gusts of 94 mph were clocked in Edgartown, Massachusetts.
Numerous trees were reported down across the Boston area.
"TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED early this morning in southeast MA," the weather service in Boston tweeted Wednesday morning, citing dangerous wind gusts.
With strong winds pushing against trees on saturated ground, "power outages from downed trees are the concern through Wednesday," CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
A "bomb cyclone" is a rapidly strengthening storm that increases at least 24 millibars (a unit of pressure) in 24 hours -- and typically the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
The storm, which was expected to deliver about 2 to 6 inches of rain in short order over several states from Tuesday into Wednesday, led the governors of New Jersey and New York to declare states of emergency in advance, just weeks after Hurricane Ida left severe flooding there in early September.
High-wind warnings still were in effect Wednesday morning for a swath of coastal New England from Connecticut to Maine.
Winds should remain gusty in parts of New England though Wednesday, though they should diminish in speed in the afternoon, the weather service said.
'One of the worst I've seen'
Joe Kidston was one of the Massachusetts residents without power Wednesday morning. The electricity went out at his home in Hingham as howling wind pushed down trees around 3 a.m., he said.
"It was one of the worst I've seen," Kidston said of the storm.
The debris blocked the road leading to his home.
"We live on a dead end street," he said on Twitter, sharing photos of the trees. "Looks like we're stuck here for a while."
Plymouth County, where Hingham is located, had wind gusts ranging from 40 mph to 85 mph.
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