WASHINGTON (AP) - A second major snow storm in less than a week
was blowing Tuesday toward the Mid-Atlantic region, where plows
still hadn't touched some roads, utility workers were struggling to
restore power and shovels were in short supply.
The storm hit the Midwest early Tuesday, closing schools and
greeting commuters with slick, slushy roads from Indianapolis to
Chicago. Powerful wind and snow were expected to crawl into
Mid-Atlantic states by the afternoon, and could leave as much as 20
inches of new snow in Washington and 18 inches near Philadelphia -
a Northeast travel hub - by Wednesday night.
Parts of the region were already buried under nearly 3 feet of
Airlines that shut down flights to Washington over the weekend
warned that more would be canceled and that travelers who didn't
depart by Tuesday night were likely out of luck. Washington
resident Chris Vaughan was fortunate enough to land a seat.
"I'm done with city, urban snow life," said Vaughan, who was
going skiing in Utah. He dodged a $100 taxi "snow fare" by having
a friend drop him off at Reagan National Airport - in exchange for
a bottle of wine.
Others were filling their pantries in case they get stuck at
"Getting around is a pain right now as it is, so slushy and
sloppy," said Meghan Garaghan, 28, as she stocked up on staples
and sweets at a supermarket in Philadelphia, which got 27 inches of
snow. "I don't want to think about what it's going to be like with
another foot and a half of snow dumped on top of this mess."
Some spots, including parts of Maryland, had nearly 3 feet of
snow from the earlier storm. One scientist said if all that fell on
the East Coast were melted, it would fill 12 million Olympic
swimming pools or 30,000 Empire State buildings. Philadelphia and
Washington each need about nine more inches to give the cities
their snowiest winters since 1884, the first year records were
Jerry Bennett, manager of the Strosniders hardware store in
Silver Spring, Md., said he sold 500 snow shovels in two hours
Friday. Since then, customers have been stalking shipments.
"Every third question is, 'Do you have shovels?"' Bennett
said. "Every three hours, we can answer 'yes,' and then they're
The storm that began Friday closed schools, and some 230,000
federal workers in Washington had Monday and Tuesday off. Power was
still out for tens of thousands of homes and businesses, and
utilities said deep snow was hindering some crews trying to fix
damaged power lines before the next storm hits.
The snowbound U.S. Senate met only for a few minutes Monday, and
the House called off floor votes on Tuesday.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, wearing a V-neck sweater over his
usual shirt and tie, said it was difficult to make it to work on
snow-clogged streets and the subway system was running on a limited
Planes weren't the only way out of town. Union Station was
bustling with long lines as many passengers decided to try Amtrak
after flights were canceled.
Manuel Bernardo, 30, of Bethesda, Md., was on his way to
Barcelona, Spain. He bought a ticket to New York and was hoping to
make it there in time to catch his flight to Madrid.
"Until this morning, I was happy as pie, because I love snow,"
In Falls Church, Va., a Washington suburb, Jeff Patmore, 43, was
trying to get his Jeep out. The State Department employee's family
was running low on supplies - particularly milk for his three young
Patmore attempted a grocery run Saturday, but didn't make it
"I thought my car could do anything, and I was wrong," he
said. "My wonderful neighbors dug me out, and I limped back with
my pride injured but everything else intact."
Greg Ten Eyck, a spokesman for Safeway Inc., said road
conditions are making it hard for many stores to restock following
the "epic" crowds before last week's storm.
A new wave of cold residents was checking into the Hilton in
Silver Spring, including Bill and Ann Hilliard and their two
elderly cats. Temperatures in their powerless home had dropped into
the 40s and with another foot of snow forecast, they didn't want to
Ann Hilliard recently had part of her leg amputated and their
neighbors helped them out of the neighborhood.
"There was no way to get her out otherwise," he said.
Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko, Laurie Kellman and
Nafeesa Syeed in Washington; Sarah Karush in Falls Church, Va.;
Brian Witte in Annapolis, Md.; Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa.; Tom
Breen in Charleston, W.Va.; Joann Loviglio in Philadelphia and
Sarah Brumfield and Stephanie Stoughton in Silver Spring, Md.,
contributed to this story.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)