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New York hard hit by winter storm

New York, December 27, 2010

A blizzard pummeled the northeastern United States on Monday, disrupting air, rail and bus travel and forcing motorists to deal with blowing snow and icy roads at the end of the busy Christmas weekend.

New York City, eastern New Jersey and western Long Island were the hardest hit by the storm, which unleashed powerful winds and dumped up to 29 inches (74 cm) of snow in some parts, the US National Weather Service said.

JFK International and other New York-area airports were closed on Sunday evening and expected to reopen on Monday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Some travelers slept in airport terminals, while others sat on grounded planes.   

Amtrak passenger rail service between New York and Boston was suspended over the weekend but expected to resume on a limited basis early on Monday.   

"They (the trains) would run on the hour but not as many as would run on a normal weekday," Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole told Fox News. He added that full service could possibly be restored on Tuesday if the snow stopped.   

At least 2,000 flights were canceled on Sunday.

Delta Air Lines cancelled about one-sixth of its flight schedule, and American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Continental Airlines canceled roughly 265 flights each and United Airlines 110, airline representatives said.

The storm, the first widespread blizzard of the season, hit as Americans were returning to work after one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings from Maine to New Jersey with winter storm warnings for nearly the entire East Coast. Six states declared a state of emergency.

After the southern United States was hit with a rare "White Christmas" on Saturday, the snowstorm plowed to the northeast, where the major coastal cities were engulfed in blowing snow.

The blizzard had been predicted, allowing cities time to crank out the salt and snow plows. Some 2,400 New York City sanitation workers were called in to clear snow from the streets. Shoppers had a chance to stock up on milk, bread, firewood as well as snow shovels and ice melting products.   

In a sign of the severity of the storm, an NFL football game scheduled on Sunday in Philadelphia was postponed, forcing the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings to reschedule the contest for Tuesday.   

The move sparked criticism, especially as the sport loves to glorify great games in snow.
 - Reuters 




Tags: New York | winter | Snow | Blizzard |

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