Storm Riley: Five dead as violent weather smashes United States leaving widespread flooding

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With few exceptions, travelers who take advantage of an airline's storm waivers can adjust their itinerary without paying either a change fee or a difference in fare, so long as travel is completed within a specified time frame. "This is a LIFE & DEATH situation for those living along the coast, especially those ocean-exposed shorelines", the National Weather Service in Boston tweeted.

The storm is undergoing a rapid intensification process called "bombogenesis", which means its central pressure is dropping quickly (an indicator of a storm's strength). Some forecast models predict a sudden pressure plummet Friday evening off the Atlantic coast.

The problems carried over into Saturday, with hundreds of flights canceled into and out of NY and Boston, according to the website. That flooding was helped by the tides brought by a nearly-full moon, adding an additional couple of feet to the water line at high tide.

Because this system will be a slow mover, its wind, rain and flood impacts could be felt for days.

- The city is expecting 2 to 3 inches of rain, with widespread street and highway flooding likely.

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Airplanes are seen parked through a rain soaked window at their gates during a winter nor'easter at LaGuardia Airport in NY, U.S., March 2, 2018.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that coastal states from MA to ME could experience another round of flooding late on Saturday when the high tide returns, though it is not expected to be as severe as earlier surges.

Officials feared the high tide before midnight on Friday could set an all-time record, but it wasn't quite as bad as predicted. The storm is expected to taper off overnight or by early today. The commuter system in parts of New York, Connecticut and MA reported suspending or delaying services on Saturday for continuing flood-related problems.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh urged businesses in flood-prone areas to allow employees to work from home.

New York, the most populous U.S. city and home to 8.5 million people, was expected to avoid heavy snow but was forecast to receive 6cm of rain and wet snow with wind gusts of up to 96kph.

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New Jersey officials say high winds may affect trees and power lines.

"When you've got a storm like this that sits off the coast, and you've got the constant pounding of the waves and high water because it's not receding, that's potentially more significant". The biggest threats there are hurricane-force wind gusts and flooding, Jones said. It's also making plans to use buses if trains at JFK or Newark airports must stop because of wind. High tide in Portland is 11:07 a.m. and sections of the commercial waterfront and Marginal Way are expected to be submerged shortly after the morning rush hour. "It's been a rough several days, I know, for a lot of folks", he said in one video update.

In Boston, high wind warnings are in effect through Saturday morning, when winds could whip up to 65 miles per hour.

In the Washington area, federal offices didn't open Friday, schools closed and trash collection was suspended.

Strong winds will affect states from SC to Maine. "We got a couple of sump pumps", said Shaffer, who evacuated to higher ground Thursday night. "We're pretty concerned about some roads that have taken a beating", he said.

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