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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Classes, flights cancelled by record snowstorm

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Drivers shoveled out their cars, marooned travelers waited impatiently for trains and planes to get back to full service, and utility crews struggled to restore power Monday after a record-breaking weekend snowstorm across the Northeast.

Most highways were in good shape in time for the morning commute, though many city streets and sidewalks were still snow-packed and slippery.

Hundreds of schools canceled classes from West Virginia to Massachusetts, but youngsters did not get a holiday in New York City, where subways continued running and major streets had been plowed despite a record-breaking 26.9-inch snowfall.

"I never want to see snow again," Laura Guerra, 27, of Miami, said after spending the night on a cot at New York's LaGuardia Airport. She said she had not seen snow since she was 4, "but I got it out of my system."

The storm blanketed the East Coast from Maine to the mountains of western North Carolina, where Robbinsville get 20 inches of snow and a scenic highway remained closed Monday by 6-foot drifts. Unlike most of the Northeast, where the storm died down Sunday afternoon, light snow continued falling in western North Carolina on Monday.

Airlines worked to catch up after canceling hundreds of weekend flights at major airports from Washington to Boston, stranding travelers across the country.

All three major New York-area airports -- Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark -- had reopened with limited service by Monday morning.

Amtrak still had numerous storm-related schedule changes.

Some passengers were stranded Sunday on the Long Island Rail Road east of New York City, where trains got stuck on snow-covered tracks. One train was marooned for five hours. Limited LIRR service into Manhattan resumed on Monday morning, but one branch on Long Island still sat idle.

"Usually the trains never stop. It's never been like this," Rebecca Karpus said Monday as she waited to return home on the LIRR after being marooned at Penn Station since 6:30 p.m. Sunday. "It's really paralyzed us."

"It's very, very poor emergency planning on the part of the Long Island Rail Road to have passengers stranded for 10, 15, 17 hours," fumed Walter Garcia, 39, who spent almost 18 hours at Penn Station.

The storm also knocked out power across parts of the Northeast, most severely in Maryland, where utilities said more than 48,000 homes and businesses still had no power Monday morning. The number was down to about 20,000 by evening.

About 16,000 customers lost power Sunday in New Jersey, but almost all of them had electricity again on Monday.

Carol Miner said she got through the night with the help of multiple blankets and socks after her home in Severna Park, Md., lost power and the indoor temperature fell to 47 degrees. "My husband slept with a hooded sweatshirt on," she said.


Associated Press writers Ula Ilnytzky and Desmond Butler in New York, Ben Nuckols in Baltimore, Donna Tommelleo in Hartford, Conn., Matthew Verrinder in Newark, N.J., Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia, Jessica Gresko in Miami and Beth Fouhey in Westchester County, N.Y., contributed to this report.


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