Colossal blizzard shuts down eastern United States
Millions of residents, business owners and workers began digging out on Jan. 24 from a massive blizzard that brought Washington, New York and other northeastern U.S. cities to a standstill, killing at least 19 people in several states.
The storm was the second-biggest in New York City history, with 68 cm (26.8 inches) by midnight Jan. 23, just shy of the record 26.9 inches set in 2006, the National Weather Service said.
Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia on Jan. 23. One person died in Maryland and three in New York City while shoveling snow. Two died of hypothermia in Virginia, officials said.
On the New Jersey shore, a region hard-hit in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, the storm drove flooding high tides.
After dumping about two feet of snow on the Washington area, the storm unexpectedly strengthened as it spun northward and slammed into the New York metropolitan area on Jan. 23, home to about 20 million people.
Winds gusting to more than 40 mph (64 kph) sculpted drifts many feet high, burying cars.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency, as did 10 other governors. A ban imposed on all travel on New York City area roads and on Long Island, except for emergency vehicles, was on Jan. 24. Bridges and tunnels into the city were also set to reopen.
Subways running above ground and trains operated by the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North halted service on Jan. 23 and were to be evaluated for service restoration.
By early Jan. 24 the storm had all but moved off the coastline, with remnants trailing over parts of Long Island and Cape Cod.
Given the massive storm's impact, it...