Snowbound Mid-Atlantic get set for new round
As the Middle Atlantic States tried to dig themselves out of a record-setting blizzard, a second weather system promised to dump more snow this week.
Federal workers in Washington were asked to stay home Monday except for emergency employees. Students in some schools in the nation’s capital also got a snow day.
Many residents who spent the weekend gleefully making snowmen and hurling snowballs grumbled as they painfully shoveled hip-high snow from driveways.
“The streets are pretty well covered,” Kingsley Barrito said about his Gaithersburg, Maryland, subdivision.
“No cars coming in or out of here. Hopefully everyone in the community has enough supplies to last them for a little while, because it doesn’t look like we’re going anywhere anytime soon,” Barrito said Sunday in a post he submitted to iReport, a CNN Web site that allows people to submit posts, pictures and videos.
Crews worked around the clock to clear roads and repair power lines, warning that it might take days to restore electricity to some customers from Pennsylvania to Virginia.
A record 32.4 inches of snow fell on Washington‘s Dulles International Airport over two days, breaking a January 7-8, 1996, record of 23.2 inches.
Two of Dulles’ four runways were open Monday morning, and officials said they hoped to have a third open later Monday, said Courtney Mickalonis of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority.
The situation there is “getting back to normal,” Mickalonis said.
But airport officials asked travelers not to go there without confirmed flights.
Reagan National Airport remained closed Monday morning, set back by an overnight refreeze on runways. Officials said they hoped to open the airport later Monday.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was open Monday with limited service, spokesman Jonathan Dean said.
One of the two runways opened Sunday night, and some flights landed, Dean said. However, airport authorities anticipate carrier delays and cancellations because of the backlog.
Airport crews were dealing with a refreeze from overnight, but officials aim to have both runways open by the end of Monday.
Amtrak said it canceled several trains Sunday after downed trees and power lines fell on its tracks. Dozens of Greyhound routes in Middle Atlantic States also were canceled, the company said on its Web site. And officials across the region advised drivers to stay off slick roads.
Making matters worse, a new weather system loomed overhead, the National Weather Service said.
As early as Tuesday, it is expected to bring more than 5 inches of snow and winds up to 25 mph in the Washington and Baltimore region.
“Everybody’s just trying to clean up and get a little bit ahead of the game before the next round comes,” said Michelle Timberlake who lives on a farm in Boyce, Virginia, west of Washington.
The interior designer found herself running through a mountain of snow when about 40 cows escaped from a pasture on her husband’s farm in search of food and shelter.
“This was not what I imagined for myself,” Timberlake said Sunday, laughing about the experience.