US East Coast Shaking Off Massive Storm’s Effects

VOA News

The U.S. government was closed Monday, and children in Washington, DC, got the day off from school, giving the city a chance to dig out and clean up from the record-breaking winter storm.

Many Washington streets and highways were still snow-covered as the sun came up. The day off for all but emergency government workers let snow plows do their job without dodging heavy commuter traffic.

Above-freezing temperatures also gave residents a chance to dig out from the 76 centimeters of snow that fell on some parts of the Washington area.

More than 1500 flights in and out of major east coast airports in Washington, Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia were canceled Monday while commuter rail service gradually returned to normal schedules.

But the Supreme Court opened, to issue rulings and act on pending appeals.

Meanwhile, limited air service is returning to Washington, New York City, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Museums and the National Zoo remain closed to the public, but many spectators enjoyed the antics of panda cub Bei Bei via the zoo’s Panda Cam.  An Internet video of Bei Bei making snow angels garnered 48 million hits, the AP said.

The storm sent floodwaters with huge chunks of ice pouring down the main streets of coastal towns of New Jersey and into homes and businesses.

The winter storm brought blizzards, floods, and record-setting snowfall to tens of millions of people from New York City to the south.

The huge storm moved up the Atlantic coast Friday and Saturday, bringing near hurricane-force winds and moisture from the warm Gulf of Mexico.

It struck hardest in the Baltimore and Washington area – two cities unaccustomed to violent winter weather.

At least 35 storm-related deaths have been reported, including heart attacks from shoveling snow.

One man in Pennsylvania suffocated in his parked car with the motor running when a plow completely buried the vehicle with snow, blocking the exhaust pipe and filling the car with carbon monoxide.

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