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Rare October storm cancels school and, worse, Halloween

October 31, 2011 |  7:31 am

October snow

The much-talked-about rare October storm has passed, but its effects are lingering. Power was restored by early Monday to some areas of the Eastern Seaboard that had lost it over the weekend, but 2 million residents were still without electricity in the aftermath of a freak October snowstorm -- with many schools closed and children facing the prospect of no trick-or-treating.

Several New England towns canceled Halloween festivities fearing that costumed children would tangle with downed power lines or end up under falling branches.

"With so many wires down ... the sidewalks will not be safe for pedestrians [Monday] night," Danbury, Conn., Mayor Mark Boughton told the Hartford Courant.

Heavy rain, snow and wind over the weekend brought down tens of thousands of tree limbs, which took power lines with them, initially leaving about 3.2 million residents without electricity. That number was reduced by Monday morning as utility companies scrambled overnight to restore power, even borrowing crews from Michigan and Canada.

Officials were predicting that some customers could be without power until the middle of the week.

Nine deaths were attributed to the storm, including that of a young Bronx mother who had gotten out of her car after a multicar pile-up on the icy Cross Bronx Expressway and was struck by another car. She was thrown 75 feet off an overpass into a construction site, according to local news reports.

The storm also had a beautiful but odd impact on the scenery in New England. Trees still in full fall bloom with leaves colored gold, red and green were juxtaposed with snow-covered hills in western Massachusetts, where communities were among the hardest-hit. Peru, Mass., a town of 800 people, got 32 inches of snow, the National Weather Service reported.

RELATED:

Halloween crowd will be big and scary

What to do with the trick-or-treat candy

Halloween costumes: Angry Birds are hot; Glee Cheerios so last year

-- Geraldine Baum in New York

Photo: Fall and winter collide south of Frederick, Md., on Saturday. Credit:  Travis S. Pratt / The News-Post

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