Skip to comments.Thousands Marooned by Blizzard at Airports (Up to 31 inches of snow fell north of Boston)
Posted on 01/23/2005 5:35:05 PM PST by Libloather
Thousands Marooned by Blizzard at Airports
15 minutes ago
By THEO EMERY, Associated Press Writer
Residents dig out as a blizzard dumps some two feet of snow in the area, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005, in Boston. Whiteout conditions grounded airplanes and sent fleets of plow and salt trucks trundling through snow-clogged roadways before the storm began to ebb at midday.(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
BOSTON - A howling blizzard slammed the Northeast on Sunday with more than 2 feet of snow and hurricane-strength wind gusts, halting air travel for thousands of people, keeping others off slippery highways and burying parked cars under deep drifts.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri both declared states of emergency.
Up to 31 inches of snow fell north of Boston, parts of New Hampshire got 2 feet, New York's Catskills collected at least 20 inches and 18 inches fell on parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the eastern tip of New York's Long Island. The weather system had earlier piled a foot of snow across parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and northern Ohio.
In addition to the snow, temperatures were expected to reach zero in some areas Sunday night, with wind chills dropping as low as minus 15. The wind was fierce across much of the East Coast, with a top wind gust of 152 miles per hour recorded on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.
At least nine deaths were linked to the weather, three in Ohio, three in Wisconsin, one in Maryland, one in Pennsylvania and one in Iowa.
Wind gusted to 84 mph on Nantucket, and the entire island off the southeast coast of Massachusetts was plunged into darkness Sunday as 9,400 utility customers lost power. On the mainland, some 18,000 customers lost power, the utility NStar said. Smaller outages were reported elsewhere around the Northeast.
Nantucket firefighter Robert Bates said most island roads were drifted over and some parts of the island had been cut off completely. Without heat and electricity, emergency officials brought residents to a shelter at the high school and the island hospital.
"People are coping," he said. "We've had a lot people asking if the shelter had access to the football game" Sunday night between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Because the wind blowing off the ocean coincided with a full moon and high tide, coastal communities were warned of flooding.
"There's a lot of self-evacuations going on. People simply got out of Dodge," said Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. National Guard troops helped evacuate part of Scituate, 20 miles south of Boston, but morning high tide receded without significant flooding, he said.
As state and city officials urged residents to stay off the roads, many people tried to take the storm in stride.
Bill Bush, 32, waded through drifts across the deserted Boston Common to pick up some things at his office for a trip Monday, then headed home for the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Steelers.
"I figured it's early and it's nice to get out to see the snow before everyone dirtied it up," he said. "There's nowhere to go, so I'll just grab some friends to come over to watch the game."
Monday classes were called off for many Massachusetts schools, and Romney asked nonessential state workers in the eastern part of the state not to come to work.
The announcement meant the trial of defrocked priest Paul Shanley, one of the highest-profile figures to go to trial in the Catholic church sex abuse scandal, would not begin in Middlesex Superior Court as scheduled Monday.
For others, towering snowdrifts and whiteout conditions wiped out travel plans.
Boston's Logan International Airport closed early Sunday because snowplow crews couldn't keep up with the blinding snow.
"It's more likely we'll open tomorrow morning," said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the airport that normally has 900 flights on a Sunday.
Logan's shutdown meant Shawn Simmons, 28, of Nashua, N.J., was stuck at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on his return from a vacation in South America.
"Coming from Brazil, where it was 80 degrees, to 14 degrees and snow up here, is such a pain," said Simmons, who planned to find a train to take him home.
More than 900 flights were canceled Sunday morning at the New York metropolitan area's Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, in addition to about 700 that were grounded Saturday, Port Authority officials said.
Cassie Szczotka of Marietta, Ga., wound up at a motel in Trenton, N.J., late Saturday after trying all day to get from Atlanta to Fort Dix, N.J., to see her husband, Capt. Chris Szczotka, who is about to be deployed to Iraq for 16 months.
"You have no idea," an exhausted Szczotka said Sunday of her trip, which included canceled and diverted flights, two trains and being stranded with a 7-year-old and a toddler at the Trenton train station until a local resident drove her to the motel. She rented a car Sunday and hoped to see her husband before he went back on duty Monday morning.
Philadelphia's airport was open again Sunday, after a shutdown and flight cancellations on Saturday stranded hundreds of travelers at the terminal overnight, but more than 70 departures were canceled. Nearly 1,300 flights were canceled from Friday through Sunday at Chicago's O'Hare International.
For others, the storm brought ideal conditions for skiing, snowboarding and sledding.
"Once everyone shovels out, we're going to have a great day, a record breaker," said Rod Taylor, owner of Woodbury Ski Area in Woodbury, Conn. "People see the snow and they get excited."
Seperated at birth....Dick van Dyke?
Well, at least it is not much heavier wet snow - shoveling heavy stuff would probably have resulted in a few extra heart attacks.
in baltimore we got maybe 5 inches.
I gotta work the spring refeul at Seabrook in March.
definitely caused by global warming, big rains in May caused by global warming, heatwave in Jul.-Aug. cause by global warming, H-cane in Sept.,,,yep global warming again. Mudslides in Nov. and in Jan 2006, big snow storm caused by global warming. Glub Glub
speaking of global warming, while looking for funny pictures, see what else I came upon:
Have the airlines asked for a tax funded government bail out yet?
Nine deaths and hardships? Why this is nothing!
If it wasn't for Bush and his stance on Global warming, we'd have had 18 deaths and 62 inches of snow to show for this blizzard.
In other related Business News...Sales of Playing Cards and Travel Scrabble have incresed dramatically.