MAN DIGS CAR OUT OF SNOW
Charles Krupa  /  AP
Tony Grieco of Somerville, Mass., shovels out a relative’s car Monday from beneath a 5-foot-deep snow drift that buried the car over the weekend.
msnbc.com news services
updated 1/24/2005 6:33:12 PM ET 2005-01-24T23:33:12

The Northeast tried to dig out Monday from the weekend blizzard that left three feet of snow in places, but airports saw new delays or cancellations, while many schools canceled classes and government offices closed for the day.

Frustrated travelers waited for transportation after a weekend in which several thousand airline flights were canceled.

Boston’s Logan International Airport was shut down for nearly 30 hours until crews were able to reopen one runway at 8 a.m. Monday.

However, a midday power failure at Logan shut down lights, elevators and escalators and drastically slowed boardings, said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman. The air traffic control center was not affected.

“We don’t know what’s causing it,” Orlandella said.

The snowstorm hit bankrupt carrier US Airways in the heart of its market. It canceled more than 800 flights over the weekend and hoped to resume operations in Boston by Monday afternoon. Not all flights were operating in Philadelphia, a critical hub and jumping-off point for international service.

American Airlines was still dealing with flight cancellations Monday out of Boston, but flights at most other major airports were operational, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman.

More than 900 flights were canceled Sunday morning at Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in the New York area, in addition to about 700 that were grounded Saturday, said officials fo the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Port Authority reported delays of up to 30 minutes Monday and predicted at least 100 more cancellations during the day.

Video: Travel halted

Philadelphia’s airport reopened Sunday, after a shutdown and flight cancellations Saturday stranded hundreds of travelers. About 50 travelers spent Sunday night at the airport, down from the 800 who had stayed the night before. Mark Pesce, a spokesman for the airport, said about 15 percent of arrivals and departures were canceled Monday morning.

O’Hare International in Chicago was nearly back to normal, with only one flight canceled Monday, and that was because of delays on the East Coast, said Annette Martinez, a spokeswoman. During the weekend, nearly 1,300 flights were canceled at O’Hare because of the weather.

School closings were reported from Maine to parts of Virginia. The storm dumped more than 3 feet of snow on Massachusetts, and drifts were piled up to the eaves of some one-story buildings.

At least 20 deaths were linked to the weather. States of emergency were declared in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney asked nonessential state workers in the eastern part of the state not to come to work, and Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri closed all state and municipal offices Monday.

Blackout on Nantucket
On Massachusetts’ Nantucket island, where an 84-mph wind gust was reported, the storm plunged the entire island into darkness until most service was restored Sunday night. The island’s fire department worked to reach to reach people at risk in areas cut off by drifts up to 6 feet high.

“We just don’t have the equipment to handle that amount of snow,” Deputy Fire Chief Mark McDougall said.

Two eastern Massachusetts communities — Salem and Plymouth — got 38 inches of snow each, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of New Hampshire got 2 feet, New York’s Catskills collected at least 20 inches, and more than a foot fell in parts of New Jersey. Earlier, the storm had piled a foot of snow across parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and northern Ohio.

The main road on Cape Cod, U.S. 6, was reopened during the night, but the pavement was snow-covered, and traffic was slow, said Barnstable police Sgt. Sean Sweeney, who had to spend the night at a hotel because power was out at his home.

Other major roads were restricted to a single lane of traffic, many secondary roads remained impassable, and the Cape Cod Times did not publish a Monday edition.

“The plows could not keep up” with the snow, Sweeney said. “We were getting 60-mph winds.”

The biggest problem in northern Maine was the teeth-chattering wind. Rich Norton of the National Weather Service said the wind chill Sunday morning was 33 below zero in Frenchville and 27 below in Bangor and Presque Isle.

Snow records
The National Weather Service noted that many areas saw the most snowfall ever recorded there for a Jan. 22 and 23.

“Accumulations over the two-day period not only surpassed the average snowfall for the entire month of January but will also equal a great percentage of the annual average” in those areas, the weather service stated. “For southern New England, this will be a historic snowstorm that ranks among the storms with the highest total accumulations.”

The agency added that the storm was the second snowiest on record for Providence, R.I., with 23.4 inches; the fifth snowiest for Boston, with 22.5 inches; and the fifth snowiest in Worcester, Mass., with 24.1 inches. Records go back more than 100 years.

The cold air extended all the way south to Florida, where low temperatures Monday morning were in the upper 20s across the northern part of the state. Freezing temperatures registered as far south as Ocala, which fell to 25. Marathon in the Florida Keys reported 49 degrees — with a wind chill of about 37.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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