After the blizzard, the big dig begins on US east coast

Published: Monday 25th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Brilliant sunshine and rising temperatures followed the mammoth blizzard that paralysed much of the US east coast.

The calm that followed the storm which set a s ingle-day snowfall record in New York City allowed millions to dig themselves out.

There was heavy snow from the Gulf Coast to the north-eastern New England states. The heaviest official report was 42 inches, in Glengary, West Virginia, but huge accumulations elsewhere stranded tens of thousands of travellers and forced countless others to change plans.

At least 29 deaths were blamed on the weather, first in car crashes, and then while shovelling snow or breathing carbon monoxide.

M ost people stayed at home as the heaviest snow began falling on Friday evening and all day Saturday, enabling crews to clear roads and rails.

“It feels like old times when there weren’t any cars,” said Taylor Scheulke, an associate producer at National Geographic television who made a 36-hour time-lapse video of snow piling up outside her Washington home and posted it on YouTube.

Broadway shows reopened on Sunday after going dark at the last minute during the snowstorm, but Bruce Springsteen called off his concert at Madison Square Garden.

Museums remained closed in Washington, and the House of Representatives postponed votes until February, citing the storm’s impact on travel.

Flying remained difficult after nearly 12,000 weekend flights were cancelled.

Airports resumed very limited service in New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which said it got an entire winter’s snow in two days. Washington-area airports remained closed on Sunday after the punishing blizzard.

Major airlines also cancelled hundreds of flights for Monday. Along with clearing snow and ice from facilities and equipment, the operators of airlines, train and transit systems had to work out out how to get snowbound employees to work.

Amtrak operated a reduced number of passenger trains on all its routes, serving many people who could not get around otherwise, spokesman Marc Magliari said.

But bus and rail service was expected to be limited around the region into Monday, making for a complicated commute.

As a sign of how much digging out remains to be done around the US capital, schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland, which recorded some of the highest snow totals, including 38.5 inches in North Potomac.

Published: Monday 25th January 2016 by The News Editor

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