The north-eastern United States was hit by a massive blizzard on Sunday, bringing Washington DC and New York among all major cities in the region to a standstill and killing at least 19 people.
An estimated 85 million people found themselves in the eye of the storm, which was dubbed ‘Snowzilla’. Around 200,000 people were left without power across the country.
The second-biggest snowstorm in New York’s history left the Central Part with 26.8 inches of snow, prompting a travel ban, which was lifted later. The record 26.9 inches set in 2006 still stands, the National Weather Service said.
Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. One person died in Maryland and three in New York while shoveling snow. Two died of hypothermia in Virginia.
The storm named Jonas had moved off the coast by Sunday morning, with remnants trailing over parts of Long Island and Cape Cod. Much of the northeast was expected to see a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures just above freezing.
Washington streets were deserted early on Sunday, with major downtown arteries already cleared and lined with mounds of snow. Workers were clearing sidewalks and alleys, and Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a call for 4,000 people to help dig the city out, above the 2,000 volunteers already signed up.
The National Weather Service said 17.8 inches fell in Washington, tying as the fourth-largest snowfall in the city’s history.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport notched a record 29.2 inches, and the deepest total was 42 inches in Glengarry, West Virginia.
Weather forecasters fear Storm Jonas is now heading across the Atlantic, triggering severe weather warnings by the UK’s Met Office for much of Wales, north-west England and the West of Scotland.
Shows, flights cancelled
A New York Stock Exchange spokeswoman said the bourse planned to open as usual on Monday. About 3,750 flights were cancelled on Sunday, and 700 cancelled for Monday, according FlightAware.com, the aviation data and tracking website.
Flights had begun landing at John F Kennedy International Airport and would soon start taking off from the facility,
About 150,000 customers in North Carolina and 90,000 in New Jersey lost electricity during the storm.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2016.