First Major Winter Snow Arrives in Northeast
NEW YORK (AP) _ Winter came out of hibernation in the East on Saturday with a blizzard that dropped a thick layer of snow from West Virginia to New England.
``This is impossible to keep up with,″ said Pat Rodgers of the Transportation Department in Connecticut, where 2 to 3 inches of snow fell an hour, leaving a foot in Milford and 11 inches in New Canaan.
About 9,000 customers in the state were without power by late afternoon.
The East’s first major storm of the season started Friday in the Midwest and gained strength as it moved east and pounded the Middle Atlantic States overnight with heavy snow, winds up to 40 mph and low wind chills.
It dumped 6 inches of snow in Kentucky and 4 inches in much of Indiana and Illinois. The nation’s capital was blanketed with 6 inches. Eleven inches fell in Baltimore County, Md., and up to 14 in the Philadelphia suburbs. Ten inches covered the West Virginia mountains and up to 16 fell in central New Jersey.
By Saturday night, up to 18 inches had fallen on parts of eastern and central New York. New York City got 10 inches.
The storm arrived during a so-far mild winter in the East _ a sharp contrast to last year, when about 17 storms dropped 50-plus inches of snow.
``It’s about time!″ said Deborah Fedelli, riding a commuter train from Connecticut to her job at Macy’s in New York City. ``I just hope it doesn’t hinder people from getting to where they want to go.″
In New York, La Guardia and Kennedy Airports were closed most of Saturday morning, stranding thousands of people. New Jersey Newark International Airport was able to clear the snow by early afternoon and flights that weren’t canceled were departing on time.
Driving was treacherous as snow turned to sleet and freezing rain in some areas and high winds decreased visibility elsewhere.
At least four traffic deaths _ two in Kentucky and one each in Massachusetts and New Hampshire _ were blamed on the weather.
The Massachusetts Turnpike was closed to propane trucks and tandem trailers. Numerous minor accidents and three rollovers were reported, state police said. There were no immediate of serious injuries.
In New York City, 3,000 sanitation workers using 1,300 plows and 350 salt-and-sand spreaders were out, Sanitation Department spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.
Things were different for those who didn’t have to work against weather, however.
``I love the snow! I can hardly wait to get home and make a snowman,″ 63-year-old Louise Clark said as she walked down a Princeton, N.J., street drinking a cup of coffee. Princeton had at least 18 inches by Saturday night.
Clark said she hiked 12 blocks in 16 inches of snow from her house to the supermarket in her brand new snow boots.
Along the way she saw ``quite a few sour-looking men shoveling.″
In Columbia, Md., 35-year-old Lisa Brotzman tossed a Frisbee to her dog Cody until the frigid temperatures ended their game.
``The Frisbee cracked in half because it’s so cold,″ Brotzman said.
Shelters were crowded in some cities as the homeless escaped the cold.
``There was a line like a sold-out James Bond movie,″ said Keith Felder, who was turned away from a Baltimore shelter. He wrapped himself in blankets and slept outside. ``I may give out, but I’ll never give up. I’ll survive.″