Mid-At­lantic re­gion digs out from his­toric piles of snow now that flakes have stopped

Cape Breton Post - - OUR COMMUNITY - BY JES­SICA GRESKO

WASH­ING­TON — Res­i­dents of the U.S. cap­i­tal and Mid-At­lantic states Sun­day be­gan dig­ging out through piles of wet, heavy snow in be­low-freez­ing tem­per­a­tures while power crews tried to re­store elec­tric­ity to hun­dreds of thou­sands of homes and clear streets for the com­mute on Mon­day.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice called the storm “ his­toric” and re­ported 30 cen­time­tres of snow in parts of Ohio and 60 cen­time­tres or more in Wash­ing­ton, Delaware, New Jer­sey and Penn­syl­va­nia. Parts of Vir­ginia, Mary­land and West Vir­ginia got closer to 90 cen­time­tres.

Many roads re­opened but of­fi­cials con­tin­ued to warn res­i­dents that high­ways could be icy and treach­er­ous. The snow snapped tree limbs onto power lines and sev­eral roofs col­lapsed un­der the weight. In Wash­ing­ton, city of­fi­cials said it was un­clear if the roads would be clear enough for work­ers to get in on Mon­day.

Some peo­ple without elec­tric­ity wor­ried whether the power would re­turn in time for Sun­day night’s Su­per Bowl foot­ball cham­pi­onship game — though it was an af­ter­thought for oth­ers just try­ing to stay warm.

Ju­lia Nick­les-Bryan and her hus­band, Charles Bryan, were more fo­cused on keep­ing their twin 7-year-old daugh­ters warm in­side their Col­lege Park, Mary­land, home — where the ther­mo­stat read eight de­grees Cel­sius. They had to make due with a gas stove, gas wa­ter heater and a fire in the fire­place.

“ We’re ba­si­cally camp­ing,” Nick­les-Bryan said. Asked if she liked camp­ing, she said, “No.”

In Philadel­phia, 72 cen­time­tres of snow fell Satur­day, just shy of the record 78 cen­time­tres dur­ing the Jan­uary 1996 bliz­zard. Snow to­tals were even higher to the west in Penn­syl­va­nia, with 79 cen­time­tres recorded in Up­per Stras­burg and 76 cen­time­tres in Som­er­set.

Al­most 46 cen­time­tres of snow was recorded at Wash­ing­ton’s Rea­gan Na­tional Air­port, which is closed. That’s the fourth-high­est storm to­tal for the city. At nearby Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Vir­ginia, the record was shat­tered with 81 cen­time­tres. Flights there have re­sumed, but are se­verely lim­ited.

Au­thor­i­ties say most pub­lic trans­porta­tion in Philadel­phia has re­sumed in the wake of the city’s sec­ond-largest snow­fall. But in Pittsburgh, bus and light-rail ser­vice was sus­pended.

In New Jer­sey, more than 90,000 cus­tomers lost power dur­ing the storm’s peak. By Sun­day morn­ing, 59,000 homes and busi­nesses — nearly all in south­ern Cape May County — re­mained without power. Work­ers from other ar­eas were pitch­ing in and state crews were try­ing to clear roads.

The snow led to thou­sands of crashes. Still, only two peo­ple had died — a fa­ther-and-son team who were killed try­ing to help some­one stuck on a high­way in Vir­ginia.

In Wash­ing­ton, the sun was fi­nally shin­ing Sun­day and the sounds of shov­els could be heard on streets. Of­fi­cials were urg­ing peo­ple to keep thor­ough­fares clear to let plows get through.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

A 63-year-old res­i­dent of Arlington, Va., who pre­ferred not to be iden­ti­fied, brushes snow off the top of her hus­band's Jeep in the Wash­ing­ton metropoli­tan area Sun­day. Cities in the Mid-At­lantic U.S. awoke Sun­day to be­low-freez­ing tem­per­a­tures and piles of heavy snow while power crews try to re­store elec­tric­ity to hun­dreds of thou­sands of homes.

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