Nor'easter hits New York area

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A nor'easter knocked down a tree in Douglaston, Queens. (Raegan Medgie/Fox 5 News)

A nor'easter is pounding the New York area. The heavy rain will continue through Friday night.

Snow is accumulating over higher terrain in northern New Jersey, New York's Hudson Valley, and interior Connecticut. Heavier snow is falling further north and west in New York.

%INLINE%The National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning and a High Wind Watch for parts of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut in effect through Saturday morning. North winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 70 mph are possible, the NWS said.

Damaging winds blew down trees and power lines. A tree fell onto a house in Putnam Valley in Putnam County, killing an 11-year-old boy. Power outages were reported in some areas.

Construction barges got loose in the Hudson River, according to the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police. FDNY, Coast Guard, and commercial boats responded.

New York officials banned high-profile vehicles from bridges and tandem trailers from all highways, but some truckers ignored the bans.

"We had tractor trailers violate the ban and flip over on the Verrazano Bridge and the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge causing significant delays," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Truck drivers who violate the ban will be arrested and fined. This is a public safety issue and these violators are not only endangering their own lives but the lives of other motorists."

Hundreds of flights were canceled at New York City airports on Friday morning, including more than 400 at LaGuardia and nearly 250 at JFK Airport. Flight operations were later suspended altogether at LaGuardia and a ground stop was put in effect at JFK with no inbound flights and very limited outbound flights for several hours. Operations at both airports resumed with limited service Friday evening.

Amtrak suspended service between Boston and Washington, D.C. Much of the ferry service in New York City was also canceled.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad reported service delays and suspensions because of weather-related problems, such as trees and debris on tracks.

In New Jersey, NJ Transit had reported system-wide delays of 20 minutes due to the weather conditions. The AirTrain at Newark Liberty International Airport was also suspended.

Coastal flooding is causing some dune erosion and localized wash-overs. Some roads also flooded.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning and a Winter Storm Watch through Friday evening for much of central and western New York. Snow totals of 6 to 12 inches with up to 16 inches possible in higher areas, according to the NWS. "Snow amounts will vary greatly by elevation, with the higher terrain getting significantly more than the valleys," the NWS said.

New York's Emergency Operations Center is activated, said Cuomo, who sent the lieutenant governor and other senior aides to regional operations centers in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Binghamton, Albany, Westchester County, New York City, and Long Island.

"Periods of heavy rainfall may cause widespread flooding of poor drainage and low-lying urban areas," according to Notify NYC. "Do not drive your vehicle or walk into areas where water covers the roadway as the water depth may be too great to allow you to cross safely."

The U.S. Coard Guard is warning boaters to be cautious. Officials said that personal watercraft users, paddle craft users, swimmers, surfers, and windsurfers should stay out of the water during the bad weather.

"With the potential for severe weather, our overall concern is ensuring the safety of the people and mariners who live and work on the water," Capt. Jason Tama of Coast Guard Sector New York said in a statement. "We want to stress the importance of safety and advise everyone to stay vigilant and to avoid putting themselves at risk as the storm passes through our region."

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