U.S., Canada dig out after snowstorm, 14 dead

Two men dig out a car Saturday on East 96th Street in New York.

NEW YORK, PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: About 310,000 homes and businesses remained without power Sunday as the U.S. Northeast and Canada dug out from a blizzard that dumped up to a meter of snow on the most densely populated part of the region.

The death toll was at 14. Some motorists had to be rescued after spending hours stuck in wet, heavy snow.

Utilities in some hard-hit New England states predicted that the storm could leave some customers in the dark at least until Monday.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said county official Steven Bellone of New York’s Long Island, where hundreds of drivers had been caught on highways by Friday’s fast-moving storm. Police said Sunday all known abandoned cars were searched and no one needing medical help was found.

At least 11 deaths in the U.S. and three in Canada were blamed on the snowstorm, among them an 11-year-old boy in Boston who was overcome by carbon monoxide as he sat in a running car to keep warm while his father shoveled Saturday morning.

Roads were impassable, and cars were entombed by snow drifts.

Some people couldn’t open the doors of their homes. “It’s like lifting cement,” said Michael Levesque, who was shoveling snow in Massachusetts.

Blowing with hurricane-force winds, the storm hit hard along the heavily populated corridor between New York City and Maine.

Air traffic began to return to normal Sunday after 5,800 flights were canceled Friday and Saturday, according to Flightaware, a flight tracking service.

Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and New York state’s Long Island MacArthur Airport reopened Sunday morning. Both had been closed Saturday. Boston’s Logan International Airport reopened late Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Rare travel bans in Connecticut and Massachusetts were lifted but roads throughout the region remained treacherous, according to state transportation departments. Most of the power outages were in Massachusetts.

At New York’s Fashion Week, women tottered on four-inch heels through the snow to get to the tents to see designers’ newest collections.

In Massachusetts, the National Guard and Worcester emergency workers teamed up to deliver a baby at the height of the storm at the family’s home.

As the region recovered, another large winter storm building across the Northern Plains was expected to leave 30 cm of snow and bring high winds from Colorado to central Minnesota into Monday, the National Weather Service said.

South Dakota was expected to be hardest hit, with winds reaching 80 kph, creating white-out conditions. The storm was expected to reach parts of Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.

South Dakota officials closed a 240-km stretch of Interstate 90 in the center of the state. They also closed 120 km of Interstate 29 in the state’s northeastern corner near North Dakota.

Officials said motels and other facilities along Interstate 90 were filling up with travelers trying to avoid the heavy drifting and near-zero visibility.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 11, 2013, on page 1.




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