Boston, Feb 18 (Reuters): The deadly blizzard that closed major airports, stranded thousands of travelers and buried much of the northeast under several feet of snow was set to linger a while longer today over parts of New England.
As cities and towns from Virginia to Connecticut began digging out from the worst winter storm in seven years, the National Weather Service was predicting more snow today in Boston, with an estimated total accumulation of between 15 and 25 inches.
Snow removal crews struggled to clear up from the Nor’easter that roared out of the Midwest on Sunday and dumped about 60 cm of snow on the nation’s capital.
The rough weather was cited as a cause in at least 10 deaths from Kentucky to New Jersey.
The storm, dubbed the “Beast of the East” by US media, cut power to more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Ohio and Kentucky.
Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton declared his state a disaster area, while similar status was given to three counties in southern Ohio.
The blizzard dumped just under 50 cm on New York’s Central Park as of 0200 GMT today, and the National Weather Service said that put it among the top snowfalls in the city’s history.
Heavy winds caused whiteout conditions and snow drifts as deep as 1.2 metres in the mid-Atlantic region, and blizzard warnings were issued from New York to Boston.
Police closed streets near the UN because of falling debris from buildings blamed on the storm. The UN Security Council postponed by several hours an open meeting on Iraq that had been due to start this morning.
As authorities warned motorists to stay off the roads, most people spent Presidents’ Day inside their homes or out playing in the snow — but not shopping.