December 22, 2014
US Northeast digs out from blizzard; new storm brews in Plains
The US Northeast started digging out on Sunday after a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches (1 meter) of snow with hurricane force winds, killing at least nine people and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.
New York City trucks plowed through residential streets, piling snow even higher at the edges and leaving thousands of motorists to dig their buried vehicles out from mountains of snow.
"I give up," Giovanni Marchenna, 52, of Manhattan said with a laugh.
"Looks like I'll be taking the subway to work until the snow melts," he added, noting he spent more than an hour shoveling snow.
On Monday, additional severe weather may bring more misery, with freezing rain and more snow predicted that would make the trip home for evening commuters even more difficult.
"It will make it a little more hazardous and a little more slick on the roads," said Kenneth James, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Maryland.
In Boston, Mayor Tom Menino canceled school on Monday after touring neighborhoods throughout the city, where 2 feet of snow fell.
"Our No. 1 priority today is getting to the side streets," he said, saying it was the fifth-deepest snowfall ever in the city.
Utility companies reported that some 350,000 customers were still without electricity across nine states after the wet, heavy snow brought down tree branches and power lines. About 700,000 homes and businesses were without power at one point on Saturday.
Air traffic began to return to normal on Sunday after some 5,800 flights were canceled on Friday and Saturday, according to Flightaware, a flight-tracking service.
Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and New York state's Long Island MacArthur Airport reopened on Sunday morning. Both had been closed on Saturday.
Boston's Logan International Airport reopened late on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Rare travel bans in Connecticut and Massachusetts were lifted but roads throughout the region remained treacherous, according to state transportation departments.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, residents were digging out their cars and driveways under clear blue skies on Sunday afternoon.
Charles Damico, a retired electrical engineer who was clearing his driveway with a snowblower, said the snow was "nothing" compared to the amount he remembers falling during the blizzard of 1978 that dumped between 2 and 4 feet (60 and 122 cm) of snow on the region.
"I didn't have a snowblower at that time, so everything was done by hand," he said. "This is nothing compared to it."
As the region recovered, another large winter storm building across the Northern Plains was expected to leave a foot (30 cm)of snow and bring high winds from Colorado to central Minnesota into Monday, the National Weather Service said.