Northeast Copes With Blizzard Aftermath

Reuters

New Yorkers faced the task of clearing huge snowdrifts and thousands of stranded travelers looked forward to boarding flights on Tuesday after a blizzard slammed the U.S. Northeast the day after Christmas.

New York City and surrounding areas were hit hardest by the storm, which swept up the Atlantic Coast on Sunday night and through the Monday morning commute, burying cities in knee-deep snow and unleashing winds of up to 59 mph.

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Treacherous road conditions caused by ice and wind were blamed for at least a dozen traffic deaths in several states.

Financial markets operated normally on Monday but trading volumes were thinned by the storm, which also kept shoppers away from the malls on the day after Christmas, one of the busiest shopping times of the year.

New York's major airports -- John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia -- were shut for nearly 24 hours before reopening Monday evening, forcing many passengers to camp out in terminals.

Thousands of additional flights were canceled on Monday, and officials said it would take several days before air travel, especially in the New York area, began to return to normal.

The storm moved into Canada's Maritime provinces and was headed northeastward toward Newfoundland early Tuesday morning, the U.S. National Weather Service. It warned that visibility across New England states could be reduced due to blowing and drifting snow.

Parts of New England, like New York and New Jersey, were buried in snow.

"I can't even find the sidewalk," said Marilyn Westgate, 44, of Belmont, Massachusetts, as she shoveled snow on her corner lot. "I don't even think about the time. I just do it."

The biting cold in the Northeast also has raised concerns about whether Times Square in New York could be cleared of snow before Friday's New Year's Eve celebration.

Utility crews worked to restore power to tens of thousands of homes while subway and Amtrak passenger rail services faced problems returning to normal schedules.

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