Passengers and crew aboard a plane landing at Dulles Airport on Friday morning had a stomach-turning ride, according to a pilot report.
“Pretty much everyone on the plane threw up,” the pilot reported, according to the National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center. “Pilots were on the verge of throwing up.”
The pilot radioed that the plane had a “very bumpy descent.” Footage recorded by Fox 5 showed planes teetering as pilots attempted to land amid high winds from a storm sweeping the Eastern seaboard.
Over 700,000 homes and businesses were without power in the northeast, hundreds of flights were canceled at New York’s three major airports and Boston’s Logan International, and the federal government closed offices in Washington.
In Maryland, high winds toppled trees and power lines, closed schools and caused 126,000 power outages. The nasty weather could last until Sunday, March 4, with wind gusts up to 70 mph, Baltimore Sun reported.
According to Flight Aware, 4,000 flights were canceled and 10,000 flights delayed on Friday. American Airlines canceled all flights out of Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C., New York Daily News reported.
Heavy rains, extreme high tides and a wind-driven storm surge could combine to cause several feet of water to flow onto streets in coastal Massachusetts, with government and private weather forecasters warning of a repeat of an early-January storm that drove a couple of feet of icy seawater onto Boston’s streets.
“The winds are going to keep on increasing and the seas are going to go higher and higher for the next three high tide cycles,” said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts.
Residents of coastal areas that regularly flood in storms, including the towns of Newburyport, Duxbury, and Scituate had been encouraged to evacuate their homes and head to higher ground, said Chris Besse, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
He added that it is hard to predict where the storm will take its heaviest toll.
“It could be that the first high tide washes away dunes from one beach and the second washes away houses,” Besse said.
Sarah Moran, a 59-year-old mother of six, was fretting whether her family’s oceanfront home in Scituate, Massachusetts, south of Boston, would survive the storm.
“Every house south of mine has been washed away since the 1978 blizzard. That risk is part of the package–the house comes complete with ocean views, taxes, maintenance and risks,” she said in a phone interview from Burlington, Vermont, where she owns a catering business.
The National Weather Service had coastal flood watches and warnings in place from southern Maine through coastal Virginia, including New York’s eastern suburbs, and was also tracking a snowstorm heading east from the Ohio Valley that could drop significant amounts of snow in northern New York State. It forecast storm surges of up to 4 feet for eastern Massachusetts.
More than 700,000 homes and businesses were without power across the region, with the largest number of outages in New York, utilities said.
Federal offices closed on Friday in Washington, while dozens of schools throughout the region canceled classes.
Southern California was also facing weather dangers, with risks of rain-driven mudslides prompting mandatory evacuations ordered for some 30,000 people living near fire-scarred hills around the Santa Barbara coast.
Reuters contributed to this report.