Heavy snow brings East Coast to a standstill
Travel frozen from Boston to Washington
New York shut down two airports and most city services Thursday in the wake of a rare thundersnow storm that paralyzed air and ground travel over a vast area from Washington to as far north as Boston.
After building up early Wednesday with ice and freezing rain, the storm blindsided the U.S. capital at the height of the evening rush hour, not even sparing President Barack Obama, who faced travel delays upon returning from a day trip to the U.S. Midwest.
In New York, John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Airport in New Jersey were closed for almost 12 hours as the storm, simultaneously erupting with lightening and thunder, blanketed the region in more than 30 centimetres of snow.
They reopened later Thursday, but with long delays as airlines worked their way through huge backlogs of cancelled flights and miserable passengers.
Similar snarl-ups developed at Philadelphia International and New York’s La Guardia airport, although the situation was back to normal at Washington’s Dulles and Reagan National.
The storm, an unusual thunder and snow combination, was the fifth major snowfall in as many weeks for parts of the U.S. east coast.