East Coast still digging out after massive blizzard
East Coast residents who made the most of a weekend blizzard faced new challenges Monday as the workweek began including slippery roads and spotty transit service. For many, the weekend extended into Monday because of closed schools and government offices. Elsewhere, thousands in North Carolina remained without electricity.
Commuters heading to work in New Jersey are finding major highways clear following the major storm that clobbered the state. However, many schools are closed Monday because snow remains a problem on local roads. Motorists are advised to drive cautiously because of slick spots, especially on highway ramps. New Jersey state troopers responded to 301 crashes and aided 1,635 motorists during the storm.
Officials were also beginning to assess the beach erosion and flood damage caused by the snowstorm, which churned the surf and caused tides to swell in southern New Jersey. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin on Monday planned to visit the Ortley Beach section of Toms River, the Holgate section of Long Beach Township, Stone Harbor and North Wildwood.
Many homes were flooded on North Wildwood’s west side. Cape May, Stone Harbor and Ocean City saw record flooding. Gov. Chris Christie said the flooding wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged people to leave their plowed-in cars all week after a one-day record of 26.6 inches fell in Central Park. New York’s transit authority said partial service on the Long Island Rail Road was restored on three of its 12 branches and diesel train service was operating on three other branches. The problems were due to switches and tracks that were refrozen overnight due to low temperatures. New York City subways, buses and Metro-North Railroad service were operating on a normal schedule Monday.
Thousands of North Carolinians still have no electricity after the big snowstorm that swept through the East Coast over the weekend. Duke Energy reported more than 11,000 customers were without service early Monday. At least six people have died in North Carolina during the storm. All six victims died in traffic accidents.
Pennsylvanians continued digging out from the major snowstorm that crippled a stretch of the turnpike. The Capitol complex in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia and Reading state office buildings were closed for non-essential employees. Many schools were closed Monday because crews were still clearing local roads. Motorists were advised to be cautious because of slick spots, especially on exit ramps. Commuters who ride buses were to expect delays along snow-covered streets.
A Virginia couple refused to allow the recent snowstorm to ruin their plans to get married. WSET reports that Michael and Emilee Ellsworth of Lynchburg were nearly forced to call off their wedding Saturday at Boonsboro Country Club.
Snow was blowing across hills and roads, making travel dangerous for the couple and their guests. They canceled the day at the country club but made a last-minute decision to have an intimate ceremony at their pastor’s home. They say the date 1-23 was already engraved on the groom’s ring, so there was no turning back.
On Sunday, as the weather cleared, they walked down the aisle at the country club in front of a packed room.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was on a rescheduled pre-dawn flight from Springfield, Illinois, to Chicago while on the way to Washington on Monday morning. The Illinois Democrat said he’s not even sure he’ll be able to get to D.C. today, but he’s been through this before.
“Most of us who spend part of our lives in Washington know to expect the worst when it comes to snow,” he said. “I knew the forecast was enough to cause a problem.”
Federal offices were to be closed Monday.
Washington’s snowfall records were less clear than other places. The official three-day total of 17.8 inches measured at Reagan National Airport was impossibly short of accumulations recorded elsewhere in the city. An official total of 22.4 inches landed at the National Zoo, for example.
The zoo remained closed through Monday but a video of its giant panda Tian Tian making snow angels got more than 48 million views.