In New Jersey, Hanna Causes Flooding, Power Outages

September 8, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna brought heavy rains and high winds to New Jersey on Saturday, but no major weather-related problems were reported as the fast-moving storm made its way along the coast Saturday night.

Forecasters said the massive system contained wind gusts as high as 60 mph, and could drop as much as 6 inches of rain before leaving the region late Saturday. As of 11 p.m., most areas had seen about 2 to 4 inches of rain, with the higher amounts in northern areas, but the precipitation had ended in most areas.

Rain from Hanna first began falling late Friday, then became intermittent during Saturday morning. The rain and wind became more steady in the mid to late afternoon and continued until late Saturday night, causing scattered power outages across the state.

The rain also left many roadways flooded, particularly in northern areas where some motorists became stranded when they tried to drive through high waters. A few drivers had to be rescued from their vehicles, but no major traffic problems were reported.

The brunt of the storm passed through New Jersey during the early evening, and the National Weather Service discontinued tropical storm warnings for most of the state late Saturday night. However, flood warnings and watches remained in effect for many northern areas.

Many events and festivals across the state were canceled or delayed due to concerns about the storm’s strength, but others went on as planned when it became apparent that the storm’s impact on New Jersey was not as severe as expected.

However, many arriving and departing airline flights were being delayed at area airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport, which had delays of nearly two hours on some flights.

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, Hanna had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph and was centered about 110 miles southwest of New York City. The storm, blamed for disastrous flooding and more than 100 deaths in Haiti, was moving near 28 mph.

Hanna didn’t linger long enough over the Southeast to cause much more than some isolated flooding and power outages. However, there were growing concerns about Hurricane Ike _ a Category 4 storm with winds of nearly 115 mph that was expected to strengthen as it approached Cuba and southern Florida by Monday.

Hanna, by comparison, wasn’t much trouble at all. It moved quickly up the Atlantic coast on Saturday, and forecasters said it would be in New England by Sunday morning.

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