Workers clear snow in New York's financial district near
Wall St. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Utility crews worked to restore power to hundreds of
thousands of homes and businesses in the US Northeast after a
snow and ice storm slammed the region. But flights began
returning to normal after thousands of delays or cancellations.
The latest in a series of winter blasts dumped up to about
30cm of snow on Wednesday and early Thursday (local time) on
the Eastern Seaboard from Maryland to Maine. About 100
million people, one-third of the US population, live in the
The storm coated roads with ice and broke tree limbs,
knocking down power lines. At least four deaths were related
to the storm, authorities said.
Pennsylvania was the hardest hit. At one point, 849,000
customers were without power, according to the Pennsylvania
Emergency Management Agency. By 8am utility crews had gotten
number down to just over 500,000, the agency said.
"The storm that we had yesterday is pretty much done for
Pennsylvania," said Craig Evanego, a forecaster with the
National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania.
Airports began clearing backlogs, with 479 flights throughout
the United States canceled as of 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT), down
from 2,893 flights on Wednesday, according to
FlightAware.com, an online flight tracking site.
Snow continued falling in patches along the East Coast, but
by early on Thursday the storm appeared to have largely run
its course, the National Weather Service said.
The East was not the only area hit by snow. In Dallas, an
early morning dusting snarled morning traffic.
In Baltimore, pawnshop worker Sheila Bateman said her morning
jog with her dogs has become a slippery romp.
"I would be better off with ice skates than running shoes.
The dogs sometimes go sliding with their legs going out from
under them," she said.
The storms have taken their toll on the region, slowing
construction, putting a damper on shopping and depleting
stocks of the salt used to keep roads ice-free in some areas.
New Jersey, for example, had spent $60 million on snow
removal as of Jan. 26, putting it on track to break the
record of $62.5 million spent last year, said Joe Dee, a
spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
Most states and major cities do not try to set an upper limit
on spending for snow removal but authorize agencies to spend
what is necessary and count on legislatures to cover the
A lot of the salt in the Chicago area is delivered along the
Mississippi and Illinois rivers on barges, but the Illinois
was frozen on Thursday. The salt was arriving by truck,
increasing costs, said Tom Breier, general manager of Ice
Melt Chicago, a supplier based in Lisle, Illinois.
The winter siege, which by now seems never-ending for some,
could produce yet another barrage of bad weather, according
to the National Weather Service's Evanego.
"It looks like this weekend there could be a system that
comes through and there could be some (more) snow," he said.