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October snowstorm wreaks havoc in US

Hundreds of thousands of people across the northeastern US faced days without heat or lights after a freak October snowstorm over the weekend, and many towns postponed Halloween revelling in what seemed like a mean prank to some children.

world Updated: Nov 01, 2011 23:33 IST

Hundreds of thousands of people across the northeastern US faced days without heat or lights after a freak October snowstorm over the weekend, and many towns postponed Halloween revelling in what seemed like a mean prank to some children.

From Maryland to Maine, high winds and wet, heavy snow brought down trees, branches and wires on Saturday and Sunday. Snowfall amounts ranged from less than inch in some places to 32 inches (81cm) in the small town of Peru, Massachusetts, in the Berkshire Mountains.

The storm was blamed for at least 21 deaths, including one in Canada, mostly caused by falling trees, traffic accidents or electrocutions from downed wires. Eight people died in Pennsylvania alone.

“Such a small storm but such a big disaster,” said Marina Shen, who spent Sunday night with her husband and dog at a school in Wayland. More than 3 million homes and businesses in the Northeast lost power at the height of the storm.