National Guard sergeant describes her storm-battered home: "It was just destroyed"
Boston mayor: "We're not out of this yet"
"This is nothing like we feared it would be," New York's mayor says of the impact on his city
Sgt. Jennifer Bruno knew the blizzard battering New England might be brutal.
So as the storm hit, she spent Monday night at a friend’s house. When she returned to her coastal home in Marshfield, Massachusetts, Tuesday, she discovered a devastating scene.
Rocks were everywhere, she said.
“Part of the roof collapsed, the wall, my door was missing,” she told CNN’s AC360. “It was just destroyed.”
The Massachusetts National Guard sergeant and Iraq war veteran cried when she caught the first glimpse of what happened. Then she went back inside to get her uniforms, a sword she got in Iraq and a cross with scripture on it that once hung on her wall.
“I’ve been through a lot, and that was just more than I thought would have happened,” she said. “(I’ll) just take it one day at a time.”
As crews started surveying storm damage and clearing streets, officials warned that the potential for record-setting snowfall remains as stormy weather wallops New England. But Bruno and other residents of coastal areas faced another more menacing threat: storm surge flooding.
On Massachusetts’ South Shore, the ocean roared inland to flood the Brant Rock Esplanade, lined with homes and businesses. Marshfield’s police department posted a photo of what it called a “major seawall breach (that) caused structural damage” to an unoccupied home. Authorities in neighboring Duxbury showed a deck blown yards away from a home. And not far away in Scituate, slushy ice, seawater and debris clogged streets as waves came crashing toward shore.
‘We’re not out of this yet’
In Boston, where about 2 feet of snow had fallen, the city’s mayor said there was still work to be done.
“We’re not out of this yet. We’re trying to get ahead of it,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. “We just keep plowing.”
The hardest-hit area – Auburn, Massachuetts – got 32.5 inches of snow. And it hasn’t stopped yet.
“This is a very significant storm, and in many parts of Massachusetts, I think, you could call it, in fact, a historic event,” Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters.
Massachusetts wasn’t the only state getting hit hard Tuesday. The National Weather Service also reported about 20 inches of snow in Portland, Maine; 32 inches in Hudson, New Hampshire; and 30 inches in Orient on New York’s Long Island.
On the northern edge of the storm in Maine, Rockland resident Steve DePasa said at 1 p.m. that up to 15 inches of snow was already on the ground, and “we’re expected to get another 10 inches.”
So what can you do in the meantime, besides pray that the power stays on?
“It’s just go out and clean up a little bit so you can,” said DePasa, a CNN iReporter. “Then wait a few hours and do it again.”
The good news? Most people seemed to have heeded the warnings about the storm, which was forecast as “crippling” and “potentially historic,” by stocking up and staying off the roads. If you go through this every year, after all, there’s a good chance you’ll know the drill.
“During these storms, everybody has to hunker down and just be safe,” said Bob Connors from Plum Island, on Massachusetts’ North Shore. “We’ve become pretty proficient at that.”
N.Y. mayor: ‘We’ve dodged the bullet’
As the storm approached, Marge Winski hoped for the best.
It’s not the first time she’s braced for bad weather as the caretaker of a lighthouse in Montauk, New York. Riding out Superstorm Sandy was terrifying, she said. This storm, which packed powerful winds, also had it’s scary moments, she said.
“I was just praying I didn’t get sick, or the roof didn’t blow off,” she said. “What was I going to do? You know no one’s coming to get you.”
But Winski, like many residents of New York and New Jersey, was breathing a sigh of relief on Tuesday.