Win­ter storm cre­ates messy com­mute

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

The big­gest storm to hit the North­east this win­ter pushed its way up the Philadel­phia-to-Bos­ton cor­ri­dor with a po­ten­tial for more than a foot of snow in places Thurs­day, mak­ing for a slip­pery morn­ing com­mute and giv­ing mil­lions of peo­ple weather whiplash a day af­ter tem­per­a­tures soared into the 50s and 60s.

Scores of ac­ci­dents were re­ported as drivers con­fronted wind­blown snow and slick high­ways. More than 3,500 flights were can­celled, and all planes in and out of New York’s Kennedy Air­port were or­dered held on the ground while crews cleared the run­ways.

Schools closed in cities big and small, in­clud­ing New York City, Philadel­phia and Bos­ton, and gov­ern­ment of­fices told non-es­sen­tial work­ers to stay home.

A door­man in New York City died af­ter fall­ing through a win­dow while shov­el­ling snow, po­lice said. He suf­fered cuts on his face and neck.

The storm was ex­pected to dump up to 18 inches in Bos­ton, as much as a foot in New York City and up to 8 inches in the Philadel­phia area. But it ap­peared to be un­der­per­form­ing in the early go­ing.

By mid­morn­ing, it had largely wound down in the Philadel­phia area, leav­ing roughly 3 inches downtown and as much as 5 inches in some sub­urbs.

Wear­ing a T-shirt, Ali­cia Jones tossed salt on the side­walk out­side the Philadel­phia restau­rant where she works as a server. She said her daugh­ter had the day off from school, and Jones had been look­ing for­ward to play­ing in the snow.

“But by the time we woke up, it was all over,” she said.

New York’s LaGuardia Air­port had about 9 inches of snow just be­fore noon, and it was ex­pected to con­tinue fall­ing un­til even­ing, with close to 12 inches in the city and up to 15 on Long Is­land.

A group of women wear­ing their py­ja­mas on a New York City side­walk be­cause it was “Pa­jama Day” at ABC’s “The Chew” show were un­de­terred by the snow.

Elaine Hig­gins, a re­tired ed­u­ca­tor from Black­wood, New Jersey, was among those wait­ing in the freez­ing cold to get into ABC’s studios.

“It’s fun. And it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence. Yes­ter­day was 65 de­grees and to­day, a snow­storm,” she said. “What’s life with­out ad­ven­ture?”

Con­necti­cut com­mu­ni­ties had 8 to 10 inches of snow by mid­day.

“We were wait­ing for a good one all year,” said Mor­gan Crum, a man­ager at Katz Ace Hard­ware in Glas­ton­bury, Con­necti­cut. “We live in New Eng­land. This is what we ex­pect.”

Crum said more than 50 peo­ple stopped by the store to buy shov­els, ice melt, gas cans and other storm pro­vi­sions.

The storm came mid­way through a largely snow-free win­ter in the North­east and a day af­ter much of the re­gion en­joyed a brief taste of spring, with record-break­ing highs in some places. Tem­per­a­tures then crashed more than 30 de­grees as the storm rolled in.

Gov­er­nors across the re­gion urged peo­ple to stay off the roads to keep them clear for plows and emer­gency ve­hi­cles.

“This is a pretty nasty storm. We’re do­ing our best to stay on top of it,” Con­necti­cut Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy said.

AP PHO­TOS

Peo­ple walk near In­de­pen­dence Hall in Philadel­phia Wed­nes­day (top photo) and Thurs­day, show­ing the change af­ter a fast-mov­ing storm swept into the North­east­ern U.S. on Thurs­day.

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