Welcome to March meteorology madness.
A paralyzing nor’easter wreaked havoc on planes, trains and automobiles Friday, with two people left dead during a daylong deluge that crippled Amtrak and local airports.
Close to 1,600 flights were canceled at the three New York-area airports, while America’s railroad was forced to shut down its Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington in the early afternoon.
“Major flooding, high winds, and many downed trees have unfortunately caused multiple issues,” the railroad tweeted before closing up shop until Saturday.
Woman dies after car crashes, catches fire in Brooklyn
“Despite our best effort to restore service, we have determined at this time it is not safe to do so.”
Officials reported two fatalities in the wind-whipped mix of ice, snow and rain: A 42-year-old woman who died in a multi-car Brooklyn crash and an 11-year-old Putnam County boy crushed when a tree fell into his house.
Firefighters and cops dug through the debris in a desperate but unsuccessful effort to save the child. Winds up to 60 mph were reported in the area.
The female driver died after losing control of her car in the snow and rain on E. 32nd St. in East Flatbush.
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Her burgundy Nissan plowed into a parked livery cab, a parked bus and several other parked cars before slamming into a tree — and bursting into flames.
A more fortunate Queens teen cheated death when a falling tree clipped her in the head on the CUNY York College Campus in Queens. The 18-year-old was hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.
The relentlessly pounding rains and winds gusting as high as 55 mph on a raw March day created chaos across the boroughs and into the suburbs.
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“As the saying goes, March is coming in like a lion and we are preparing for heavy snow, rain and flooding across New York this weekend,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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NJ Transit riders suffered through hour-long delays all afternoon due to weather-related problems, while bus service into the Port Authority Bus Terminal operated with 30-minute delays.
Both Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road were afflicted with service delays by the potent storm.
A pair of tractor-trailer accidents and the whipping winds forced the temporary closing of the Verrazano Bridge’s upper level.
Once reopened, all vans, 18-wheelers, motorcycles and mini-buses were banned from the span between Staten Island and Brooklyn.
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No injuries were reported in the two accidents on the Staten Island-bound lanes.
The rain/sleet/snow combo was expected to rage into night, with temperatures rebounding into the mid-40s Saturday under cloudy skies.
Reports of trees toppled by the powerful storm included one knocked down on 195th St. in St. Albans, Queens, and a second leveled across the fronts of three homes in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
A 60-foot pine tree torn from the ground by the winds crushed a pair of cars in Queens Village. Martin Van Buren High School student Sadia Khan, 15, heard the commotion during her Spanish class.
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“The wind was making really weird sounds,” she recalled. “It was hitting the glass, the windows, and it was really strong. I thought I heard (the tree) fall and then people screaming.”
Downed tree branches on the tracks knocked out service on the No. 5 subway line in the Bronx from Eastchester-Dyre Ave. and E. 180th St.
Consolidated Edison reported close to 60,000 customers without electricity by mid-afternoon, while PSEG Long Island said 36,099 customers were powerless.
A high wind warning remained in effect for the area through 6 a.m. Saturday.
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The ugly weather canceled more than 700 flights at LaGuardia Airport, along with 486 at Newark Airport and another 401 at Kennedy Airport, according to the website FlightAware.com.
Passenger Paul Sagar, 51, of Windsor Heights, Iowa, was stranded at LaGuardia after his flight to Des Moines was scuttled.
“I’d rather it be canceled and have to wait that fly in bad weather,” said Sagar. “Nothing worse than feeling storm turbulence and holding onto your seat. I’ll take the long wait.”
Forecasters also warned of “significant beach flooding and erosion” along the New York and New Jersey coastlines from the winds and rising tides.
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New Jersey officials were particularly worried about a stretch of sand south of Atlantic City, where beach repairs were still underway from previous storms.
With Thomas Tracy, Ellen Moynihan
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DAN RIVOLI, CHELSIA ROSE MARCIUS, LARRY McSHANE