Cold, snow bring Northeast to a halt

Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK -- Northeasterners scraped and shoveled Wednesday after a snowstorm grounded flights, shuttered schools and buried roads with a surprising amount of snow, leaving biting cold in its wake.

The atmosphere was particularly frosty in New York, where the new mayor acknowledged flaws in the cleanup and some residents complained that schools remained open while children elsewhere in the region stayed home.

The storm stretched from Kentucky to New England but hit hardest along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston.

As much as 14 inches of snow fell in Philadelphia, with New York City seeing almost as much, and parts of Massachusetts were socked with as many as 18 inches. Temperatures were in the single digits or the teens in many places Wednesday.

The storm was blamed for at least one death -- a driver was ejected from a car that fishtailed into the path of a tractor-trailer on a snow-covered Maryland road -- and might have claimed more lives. Authorities were investigating three suspected weather-related deaths in Pennsylvania's Delaware County, outside Philadelphia; a preliminary investigation showed weather conditions played a role in a two-vehicle crash that killed two people in Prince George's County, Md.; and police said the storm may have factored in a deadly tractor-trailer wreck in Frederick County, Va.

Schools were closed in Boston, Philadelphia and many other places on the Eastern Seaboard. Federal workers in Washington got a two-hour delay in their work days Wednesday after a day off Tuesday because of the snow.

In downtown Jersey City, N.J., certified nurse's aide Kerline Celestin waited for a bus Wednesday to head home after being stuck at work overnight due to the storm. The temperature was in the single digits, with the wind chill below zero.

"I didn't want to be outside," she said.

Maintenance worker William Haskins knocked on doors in downtown Annapolis, Md., to see if anyone needed sidewalks cleaned. His 10-year-old son, Travis, out of school for a snow day, came along with his own shovel and an understanding that profits would be split evenly.

"He was up waiting for me this morning," his father said.

On Cape Cod, a blizzard warning in effect through Wednesday afternoon kept business brisk at Aubuchon Hardware in Sandwich, where salt and snow shovels were popular.

"The flow of customers is pretty steady, but everyone waits until the worst of the storm to start worrying," manager Jeff Butland said.

About 1,400 flights were canceled Wednesday into and out of some of the nation's busiest airports, including in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, according to according to Flightaware.

The storm was a conventional one that developed off the coast and moved up the Eastern Seaboard, pulling in cold air from the Arctic. Unlike the epic freeze of two weeks ago, it was not caused by a kink in the polar vortex, the winds that circulate around the North Pole.

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Karen Matthews and Verena Dobnik and AP Video Journalist Ted Shaffrey in New York; Nick Tabor in Annapolis, Md.; Samantha Henry in Jersey City, N.J.; Ron Todt in Philadelphia; and Denise Lavoie in Weymouth, Mass.

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