Winter storm hits US East, disrupts travel

2014-02-03 21:34
A pedestrian walks along a sidewalk. (Orlin Wagner, AP)

A pedestrian walks along a sidewalk. (Orlin Wagner, AP)

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Philadelphia - Another round of winter weather followed a day of unseasonable temperatures with plenty of snow in the eastern United States on Monday, closing schools, disrupting air traffic and snarling travel plans for people trying to return home from the Super Bowl football championship in the New York area.

Fat, wet flakes were falling at midday Monday and could total 20cm in Philadelphia and New York, along with temperatures slightly above freezing, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of Maryland and West Virginia were expecting as much as 25cm of snow.

By midday, the flight-tracking website FlightAware reported nearly 2 000 delayed flights and 1 500 cancelled flights nationwide in cities including Philadelphia, Newark, New Jersey, and New York. Inbound flights to Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy airports were delayed two to three hours because of snow and ice.

The storm hit greater New York just a day after the weather warmed up for the first ever outdoor Super Bowl in a northern city. The Super Bowl is by far the biggest game on the North American sports calendar, sometimes drawing over 100 000 fans, many of whom pay into the thousands of dollars for tickets.

Francois Emond of Alma, Quebec, had his flight home from the Super Bowl cancelled. But the fan of the victorious Seattle Seahawks said it was a dream trip and great game, and he didn't at all mind spending another night in New York City.

Schools closed in many districts in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Forecasters expected the snow to taper off by early afternoon. However, another storm is likely to hit the same region beginning Tuesday night, bringing a combination of rain, freezing rain and snow, said Gary Szatkowsi, a weather service meteorologist in New Jersey.

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