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Mid-Atlantic region carves path through historic snowfall

Mark Jordan digs out of the snow Sunday that was dumped on Capitol Hill by a blizzard that buried a broad swath of the mid-Atlantic region. The storm toppled records.

Associated Press

Mark Jordan digs out of the snow Sunday that was dumped on Capitol Hill by a blizzard that buried a broad swath of the mid-Atlantic region. The storm toppled records.

WASHINGTON — Planes were grounded, trains stood still and Greyhound buses weren't rolling in the mid-Atlantic region on Sunday, leaving stranded travelers wondering when they'll be able to escape the icy mess created by a major snowstorm.

Hundreds of thousands of homes were without power with temperatures below freezing all day, and utilities warned it could be days before electricity is restored to everyone. Plows had scraped down to bare pavement on some main thoroughfares while not touching streets in other areas buried by 2 feet or more.

For many in the nation's capital, meanwhile, today will be another day to dig out. Federal agencies that employ 230,000 will be closed, and many school districts across the region were giving students a snow day. For stranded out-of-towners, however, the thought of extending the weekend by a day wasn't much to smile about.

Joel Jones of Durham, N.C., said he was on a bus from Baltimore on Friday. When he arrived in Washington, the rest of the trip was canceled. He walked to Union Station to get a train, where he has remained, sleeping on chairs.

"I'm starting to worry because I take insulin," said Jones, 41. "I got enough for like one more shot, so I have enough until tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll get on the bus in the morning."

The National Weather Service called the storm "historic" and reported a foot of snow in parts of Ohio and 2 feet or more in Washington, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Parts of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia got closer to 3 feet.

Many roads reopened but officials continued to warn residents that highways were still icy, a remnant from the storm President Barack Obama called "Snowmageddon."

In Washington, the sun was finally shining Sunday and the sounds of shovels were heard on streets. In contrast to Saturday, when people were frolicking on the barren streets, thoughts turned Sunday to cleanup.

The snow snapped tree limbs onto power lines, and several roofs collapsed under the weight.

Making matters worse, the weather service issued a storm watch for the Washington area Tuesday, saying there was potential for 5 inches more. Forecasters expect highs in the low to mid 30s for the next few days, though sunshine today should help melt some of the snow, meteorologist Bryan Jackson said.

Mudslide refugees can head home

Residents of foothill communities deluged by weekend mudslides north of Los Angeles have been allowed to return home. L.A. County Sheriff's Dep. Guillermina Saldana said the final evacuation order was lifted Sunday for about 70 homes in the Paradise Valley area of La Canada Flintridge. The neighborhood was choked with a thick layer of mud and debris during a pummeling rain early Saturday. Up to 800 homes were evacuated. Forty-three were damaged and nine were declared unsafe to enter. About 25 vehicles were damaged. No injuries have been reported.

Mid-Atlantic region carves path through historic snowfall 02/07/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 7, 2010 11:12pm]
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