Soggy, wet Christmas in the dark for hundreds of thousands in U.S. Northeast

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A soggy, wet and dark Christmas morning greeted more than 250,000 U.S. power customers on Friday in New York, Pennsylvania and the Northeast who had their electricity knocked out by clobbering winds and drenching, icy rain.

Flooding was also possible, with snow from earlier storms melting or morphing into globs of icy slush and up to 5 inches (13 cm) of rain forecast for some upstate New York areas, said Rich Otto, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“I’m afraid the kids are waking up to a wet and soggy Christmas morning,” Otto said.

In New England, wind gusts of up to 65 mph (100 kph) could down tree limbs and power lines. With temperatures falling at night from the 40s, 50s and 60s F (5-15 C) to the 20s F (around -5 C), icy roads will be a concern, Otto said.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has said that at least 34 million fewer Americans were expected to travel over the holidays, an estimated drop of 29% from 2019, largely over concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

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