Winter Storm Riley Latest: Killer Bomb Cyclone Batters North East Coast

At least five people have been killed by a powerful nor’easter that blasted the East Coast Friday and early Saturday.

"Take this storm seriously!" the National Weather Service in Boston warned via Twitter Friday. "This is a LIFE & DEATH situation for those living along the coast, especially those ocean-exposed shorelines."

GettyImages-926270042 High winds, rain and flooding is taking place in Scituate and the surrounding coastal areas of Massachusetts as a storm known as a 'bomb cyclone' makes it way past the East Coast. Getty Images

The storm picked up strength quickly Friday, undergoing what’s known as bombogenesis—when a low pressure system drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.

Like the deadly storm that hit the East Coast in January, it has been dubbed a “bomb cyclone.”

Trees felled by strong winds killed at least five. 

Among them were: A 6-year-old boy who was killed in Virginia when a tree fell on his family’s home, an 11-year-old boy killed by a falling tree in New York State, a 57-year-old man killed after a tree fell on his car in Pennsylvania, a 77-year-old woman killed by a falling branch in Baltimore and a 44-year-old male passenger in a truck killed in Virginia when a tree fell on the vehicle. 

Wind speeds reached 80 to 90 mph on Cape Cod, while Ohio and upstate New York were blanketed by more than a foot of snow. Heavy snow also fell on areas including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, reported ABC.

Almost 1.7 million homes and businesses were without power in the Northeast and Midwest Friday. Government offices in Washington closed as winds gusted to more than 60 mph in the U.S. capital. 

The storm grounded 5,489 flights, both domestic and international, and scores more were delayed, according to FlightAware.com. Storm damage caused Amtrack services between Washington D.C. and Boston to be halted Friday. 

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, streamlining state aid to communities harmed by high winds. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said he had called in the National Guard and urged caution and vigilance. 

A flood surge at extreme high tide sent seawater into Boston’s coastal streets, the second time this year that the area had flooded. Wind gusts approaching 70 mph helped force in the water while downing trees and power lines. 

The Weather Channel reported that though flooding in Boston fell short of record levels, life threatening floods are still possible Saturday. 

Jim Hayes, a meteorologist with the agency’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said that snow and rain are forecast to taper off through Friday night and into Saturday as skies clear. Hayes added that winds are also expected to drop somewhat overnight and into Saturday as the offshore storm system recedes.