US northeast, Canada dig out from snow

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US northeast, Canada dig out from snow

The blizzard in Canada closed schools and government offices and disrupted air travel throughout the region.

By (AP)

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Published: Thu 23 Jan 2014, 10:21 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:53 AM

A man clears a sidewalk in blizzard conditions in Halifax, Nova Scotia. - AP

The US Northeast dug out on Wednesday from a snowstorm that grounded flights, shuttered schools and left a bitter cold in its wake, while a blizzard swept across parts of Atlantic Canada.

The blizzard in Canada closed schools and government offices and disrupted air travel throughout the region. Crews worked to clear roads in blinding conditions.

The atmosphere was particularly frosty in New York, where some residents complained that plowing was spotty and schools were open while children elsewhere in the region stayed home.

The storm stretched from Kentucky to New England but hit hardest along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. As much as 14 inches (35 centimeters) of snow fell in Philadelphia, with New York City seeing almost as much, before tapering off.

Facing one of the first flashpoints of his weeks-old tenure, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the response to a storm he said caused a worse-than-expected headache when it ramped up at rush hour.

The mayor and city Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said the cleanup effort was equitable and robust, though complicated by traffic and the storm’s timetable. Those factors made it difficult to plow and spread salt, Doherty said. The wind and snow were so blinding that police pulled traffic agents out of many intersections.

While Boston got only about 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow, other parts of Massachusetts were socked with as many as 18 inches (46 centimeters).

About 1,400 flights were cancelled on Wednesday into and out of some of the nation’s busiest airports, including in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, according to according to Flightaware. That was down from about 3,000 flights the day before.

The storm was a conventional one that developed off the coast and moved up the Eastern Seaboard, pulling in cold air from the Arctic. Unlike the epic freeze of two weeks ago, it was not caused by a kink in the polar vortex, the winds that circulate around the North Pole.

Environment Canada said there were two distinct phases to the storm there, with the first bringing up to 2 inches ( five centimeters) of snow on Tuesday night through Wednesday morning in western Nova Scotia and the Halifax area.

A second, more powerful blow hit later, dumping heavier snowfall amounts that were expected to reach up to a foot (30 centimeters) in Nova Scotia and nearly as much in southeastern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island by late Wednesday. Similar amounts were predicted for western Newfoundland through Wednesday night.

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