PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Emergency crews and residents struggled to clear roadways and sidewalks from a storm that rampaged through the Northeast, dumping up to 3 feet of snow and bringing howling winds that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands. Municipal workers from New York to Boston labored through the night Saturday in snow-bound communities, where some motorists had to be rescued after spending hours stuck in wet, heavy snow. Meanwhile, utilities in some hard-hit New England states predicted that Friday's storm could leave some customers in the dark at least until Monday. "We've never seen anything like this," said Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone of Long Island, which got more than 2 1/2 feet of snow. About 345,000 homes and businesses remained without power Sunday morning, down from a total of about 650,000. Some school districts announced they'd be closed on Monday, complicating parents' back to work schedules but giving kids another day for frolicking. At least five deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the snowstorm, including an 11-year-old boy in Boston who was overcome by carbon monoxide as he sat in a running car to keep warm while his father shoveled Saturday morning. That death and the illnesses of several others exposed to carbon monoxide set off a flurry of safety warnings from public officials. Roads across the Northeast were impassable and cars were entombed by snow drifts on Saturday. Some people found the snow packed so high against their homes they couldn't get their doors open. "It's like lifting cement. They say it's 2 feet, but I think it's more like 3 feet," said Michael Levesque, who was shoveling snow in Quincy, Mass., for a landscaping company. In Providence, where the drifts were 5 feet high and telephone lines encrusted with ice and snow drooped under the weight, Jason Harrison labored for nearly three hours to clear his blocked driveway and front walk and still had more work to do. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee cautioned that while the snow had stopped, the danger hadn't passed: "People need to take this storm seriously, even after it's over. If you have any kind of heart condition, be careful with the shoveling." Blowing with hurricane-force winds of more than 80 mph in places, the storm hit hard along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between New York City and Maine. Milford., Conn., got 38 inches of snow, and Portland, Maine, recorded 31.9, shattering a 1979 record. Several communities in New York and across New England got more than 2 feet. Still, the storm was not as bad as some of the forecasts led many to fear, and not as dire as the Blizzard of '78, used by longtime New Englanders as the benchmark by which all other winter storms are measured. By midday Saturday, the National Weather Service reported preliminary snowfall totals of 24.9 inches in Boston, or fifth on the city's all-time list. Bradley Airport near Hartford, Conn., got 22 inches, for the No. 2 spot in the record books there. Concord, N.H., got 24 inches of snow, the second-highest amount on record and a few inches short of the reading from the great Blizzard of 1888. In New York, where Central Park recorded 11 inches, not even enough to make the Top 10 list, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city "dodged a bullet" and its streets were "in great shape." The three major airports - LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, N.J. - were up and running by late morning after shutting down the evening before. Most of the power outages were in Massachusetts, where at its peak more than 400,000 homes and businesses were left in the dark. In Rhode Island, a high of around 180,000 customers lost power, or about one-third of the state. Connecticut crews had slowly whittled down the outage total from a high of about 38,000 to about 25,000 Sunday, and power was restored to nearly all of the more than 15,000 in Maine and New Hampshire who were left without lights after the storm hit. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island imposed travel bans until 4 p.m. to keep cars off the road and let plows do their work, and the National Guard helped clear highways in Connecticut, where more than 240 auto accidents were reported. The Guardsmen rescued about 90 motorists, including a few who had hypothermia and were taken to hospitals. On Long Island, hundreds of drivers spent a cold and scary night stuck on the highways. Even snowplows got bogged down or were blocked by stuck cars, so emergency workers used snowmobiles to try to reach motorists, many of whom were still waiting to be rescued hours after the snow had stopped. Richard Ebbrecht, a chiropractor, left his office in Brooklyn at 3 p.m. on Friday and headed for home in Middle Island, N.Y., but got stuck six or seven times on the Long Island Expressway and other roads. "There was a bunch of us Long Islanders. We were all helping each other, shoveling, pushing," he said. He finally gave up and settled in for the night in his car just two miles from his destination. At 8 a.m., when it was light out, he walked home. "I could run my car and keep the heat on and listen to the radio a little bit," he said. "It was very icy under my car. That's why my car is still there." Around the New York metropolitan area, many victims of Superstorm Sandy were mercifully spared another round of flooding, property damage and power failures. "I was very lucky and I never even lost power," said Susan Kelly of Bayville. "We were dry as anything. My new roof was fantastic. Other than digging out, this storm was a nice storm." As for the shoveling, "I got two hours of exercise." At New York's Fashion Week, women tottered on 4-inch heels through the snow to get to the tents to see designers' newest collections. Across much of New England, streets were empty of cars and dotted instead with children who had never seen so much snow and were jumping into snow banks and making forts. Snow was waist-high in the streets of Boston. Plows made some thoroughfares passable but piled even more snow on cars parked on the city's narrow streets. Boston's Logan Airport resumed operations late Saturday night. Life went on as usual for some. In Portland, Karen Willis Beal got her dream wedding on Saturday - complete with a snowstorm just like the one that hit before her parents married in December 1970. "I have always wanted a snowstorm for my wedding, and my wish has come true to the max," she said. In Massachusetts, the National Guard and Worcester emergency workers teamed up to deliver a baby at the height of the storm at the family's home. Everyone was fine. Some spots in Massachusetts had to be evacuated because of coastal flooding, including Salisbury Beach, where around 40 people were ordered out. Among them were Ed and Nancy Bemis, who heard waves crashing and rolling underneath their home, which sits on stilts. At one point, Ed Bemis went outside to take pictures, and a wave came up, blew out their door and knocked down his wife. "The objects were flying everywhere. If you went in there, it looks like ... two big guys got in a big, big fight. It tore the doors right off their hinges. It's a mess," he said.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Gunfire wounded four people on New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street as a costumed crowd partied amid the countdown to Mardi Gras, sending people running, police and bystanders said. Four shots rang out rapidly Saturday night, followed by screams as some in the crowd staggered into one another and a nearby wall, video taken by a bystander and released by police showed. Authorities said in an email Sunday that an argument involving one of the victims led to the shooting. They described the video - released early Sunday - as showing two men leaving the argument and returning with a third before the gunfire erupted. No arrests were immediately reported, and police said they were seeking the three men who fled. The wounded were two males and two females, New Orleans Police spokesman Frank B. Robertson said. One male victim was in guarded condition Sunday with shots to the abdomen, thigh and pelvis, Robertson said. The second male was shot in the buttocks, one female was shot on the chin and right foot, and the second female was shot on the toe, according to Robertson's statement. Police had said late Saturday that the most severely wounded man was undergoing surgery while the others were stable. None was identified by age or name. The shooting came on the last weekend of partying before Mardi Gras, the Fat Tuesday celebration that is the signature tourist event of the year in New Orleans. And for thousands, the partying continued despite the shooting. New Orleans has been plagued for years by violent crime, including gun violence that has soared since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. In 2011, sixteen people were shot and at least two killed in Halloween shootings in New Orleans. One of those killed - a 25-year-old local resident - was shot near the famous Chris Owens nightclub, about a block away from Saturday's incident. Police placed the Saturday shooting in the 400 block of Bourbon Street. Patrick Clay, 21, a Louisiana State University student, told The Times-Picayune that he was standing on the corner of Bourbon Street on Saturday night when suddenly he saw a crowd running and people screaming that there had been a shooting. "Everyone immediately started running and the cops immediately started running toward where people were running from," Clay said. "I was with a group of about seven people and at that point, we all just kind of grasped hands and made our way through the crowd as soon as possible." Some bartenders and revelers said the block of Bourbon Street where the shooting occurred was closed for a time while detectives investigated, but partying resumed hours later across that stretch. Julia Rosenthal, a 19-year-old from Westchester, N.Y., had mixed feelings about hanging out in the French Quarter after the shooting. "It's not an OK thing that happened, and it's definitely scary. But I'm not going to let it affect my night," she said. Peter Manabani, an employee at the Rat's Hole bar, said police had shut down a whole Bourbon Street block for an hour to investigate but allowed people to return to the area later. Hours later on Sunday, there was little evidence that a shooting had occurred. Overnight revelers were in full party mode, packing the block amid a heavy police presence. Laura Gonzalez, 21, of Baytown, Texas, said it was her first Mardi Gras and she spent some time in the Fat Catz bar nearby as police investigated. She said the bar locked its doors quickly after the shots rang out and wouldn't let anyone in or out while police went to the scene. Asked if it was frightening, she responded: "Not really. We were just locked in a bar and we weren't going to let this one incident wreck our party." Parades rolled all day Saturday but none on Bourbon Street because the streets are too narrow. One of the biggest Mardi Gras parades, the Krewe of Endymion, rolled down a major thoroughfare and just skirted Bourbon Street a few hours before the shooting. Typically, once the parades end, partygoers head to the French Quarter.
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- More than 100 officers fanned out again at daybreak Saturday in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains, resuming the search for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of going on a deadly rampage to get back at those he blamed for ending his career. Authorities hope clearer skies will allow aircraft to help them in the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, which entered its fourth day Saturday. Relentless snowfall on Friday grounded helicopters with heat-sensing technology and hampered their effort to find Dorner, whose burned-out pickup truck was found a day earlier in this ski resort town. SWAT teams in camouflage scoured the mountains and went door-to-door examining vacant cabins, aware to the reality they could be walking into a trap set by the well-trained former Navy reservist who knows their tactics and strategies as well as they do. "He can be behind every tree," said T. Gregory Hall, a retired tactical supervisor for a special emergency response team for the Pennsylvania State Police. "He can try to draw them into an ambush area where he backtracks." As authorities weathered heavy snow and freezing temperatures in the mountains, thousands of heavily armed police remained on the lookout throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and northern Mexico for a suspect bent on revenge and willing to die. Police said officers still were guarding more than 40 people mentioned as targets in a rant they said Dorner posted on Facebook. He vowed to use "every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance and survival training I've been given" to bring "warfare" to the LAPD and its families. The manhunt had Southern California residents on edge. Unconfirmed sightings were reported near Barstow, about 60 miles north of the mountain search, and in downtown Los Angeles. Some law enforcement officials said he appeared to be everywhere and nowhere, and speculated that he was trying to spread out their resources. For the time being, their focus was on the mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles - a snowy wilderness, filled with thick forests and jagged peaks, that creates peril as much for Dorner as the officers hunting him. The small army hunting him has the advantage of strength in numbers and access to resources, such as special weapons, to bring him in. In his online rant, Dorner baited authorities. "Any threat assessments you generate will be useless," it read. "I have the strength and benefits of being unpredictable, unconventional, and unforgiving." Without the numbers that authorities have, Dorner holds one advantage: the element of surprise. Authorities said they do not know how long Dorner had been planning the rampage or why he drove to the San Bernardino Mountains. Property records show his mother owns undeveloped land nearby, but a search of the area found no sign of him. It was not clear if he had provisions, clothing or weapons stockpiled in the area. Even with training, days of cold and snow can be punishing. "Unless he is an expert in living in the California mountains in this time of year, he is going to be hurting," said former Navy SEAL Clint Sparks, who now works in tactical training and security. "Cold is a huge stress factor. ... Not everybody is survivor-man." Jamie Usera, an attorney in Salem, Ore., who befriended Dorner when they were students and football teammates at Southern Utah University, said he introduced him to the outdoors. Originally from Alaska, Usera said, he taught Dorner about hunting and other outdoor activities. "Of all the people I hung out with in college, he is the last guy I would have expected to be in this kind of situation," Usera, who had lost touch with Dorner is recent years, told the Los Angeles Times. Others saw Dorner differently. Court documents obtained by The Associated Press on Friday show an ex-girlfriend of Dorner's called him "severely emotionally and mentally disturbed" after the two split in 2006. Dorner served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007. Last Friday was his last day with the Navy and also the day CNN's Anderson Cooper received a package that contained a note on it that read, in part, "I never lied." A coin riddled with bullet holes that former Chief William Bratton gave out as a souvenir was also in the package. Police said it was a sign of planning by Dorner before the killing began. On Sunday, police say Dorner shot and killed a couple in a parking garage at their condominium in Irvine. The woman was the daughter of a retired police captain who had represented Dorner in the disciplinary proceedings that led to his firing. Dorner wrote in his manifesto that he believed the retired captain had represented the interests of the department over his. Hours after authorities identified Dorner as a suspect in the double murder, police believe Dorner shot and grazed an LAPD officer in Corona and then used a rifle to ambush two Riverside police officers early Thursday, killing one and seriously wounding the other. The incident led police to believe he was armed with multiple weapons, including an assault-type rifle. That detail concerned officers whose bullet-proof vests can be penetrated by such high-powered weapons, said LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese. As a result, all LAPD officers have been required to work in pairs to ensure "a greater likelihood of coming out on top if there is an ambush," Albanese said. "We have no officers alone right now."