US states dig their way out of snow storm

Northeast emerging from blizzard that caused at least nine deaths and paralysed the region with winds and snow.

    US states dig their way out of snow storm
    The storm that hit northeastern US dumped more than 60cm of snow in parts of New England [AFP]

    The northeast of the US has started to emerge from a blizzard that caused at least nine deaths and paralysed the region with high winds and massive snow.

    More than 300,000 customers were still without power in the wake of the storm on Sunday that struck several states and dumped as much as three feet of snow across New England before battering three Canadian provinces.

    The majority of the service disruptions were in Massachusetts, where Governor Deval Patrick said outages were at 250,000, down from 400,000 on Saturday.

    As crews worked to clear roads and sidewalks, travel conditions in the area  began to pick up and return to normal.
    New York area airports LaGuardia, John F Kennedy and Newark, which halted all flights at the height of the storm, resumed servic on Saturday with some delays.

    Boston's Logan International Airport, meanwhile, asked travellers on Sunday it  was still experiencing some weather-related delays and cancellations.

    Emergency declaration

    Amtrak, the rail company, announced it would restore limited service  between New York and Boston as it continued to clear its tracks of deep snow and downed trees and make the necessary repairs to restore full train service in the Northeast.

    To facilitate the clean-up efforts, President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for the state of Connecticut on Sunday, where Governor Dannel Malloy said it appeared that most, if not all counties had been hit with record or near record snowfall.

    "This declaration will provide much needed assistance to the state and our towns and cities as we continue to recover from this historic winter storm," Malloy said.

    Some 16,620 customers remained without power in the state, according to Connecticut Light & Power.

    At least three people died in Connecticut, Malloy announced.

    An 80-year-old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver while clearing her driveway, and a 40-year-old man collapsed
    while shovelling snow.

    One man, 73, slipped outside his home and was found dead on Saturday, Malloy said.

    Vehicle bans lifted

    A Boston fire official said an 11-year-old boy died.

    Massachusetts and Connecticut lifted vehicle travel bans as the storm slowly moved eastward on Saturday afternoon.

    Even as the storm's force was slackening, the National Weather Service forecast a possible blizzard in the Great

    Snow and, in some areas, blizzard conditions were expected across parts of Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming through the weekend into Monday, it said.

    At one point, wtility companies reported about 650,000 customers without electricity across nine states as the wet, heavy snow brought down tree branches and power lines.

    The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was shut down, but there was no threat to the public, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

    In New York, hundreds of cars got stuck on the Long Island Expressway on Friday, and dozens remained disabled early Saturday as police worked to free them.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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