Nightly News   |  February 07, 2010

Winter blast leaves thousands powerless

The flakes are no longer falling, but residents in the Mid-Atlantic are sizing up the daunting impact of the storm cheekily dubbed “Snowmageddon.” NBC’s Mike Viqueira reports.

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>> you.

>>> for millions of people this will be a weekend to remember. that massive storm that struck the mid-atlantic left a mountain of snow in its wake, forcing the federal government to announce it's shutting down tomorrow and leaving a lot of people with some heavy lifting to do. nbc's mike viqueira reports from washington .

>> reporter: after the big storm, the big dig . across the mid-atlantic a struggle to cope with the white stuff. in washington .

>> go, matthew.

>> reporter: residents working to free cars. convoys of plows clearing roads. in new jersey homeowners shoveling out.

>> this was really a great one. i mean, these are the kind we'd have when i was a kid.

>> reporter: everywhere there are downed power lines . hundreds of thousands spent the night with no power and no heat. officials warning that repairs may be days away.

>> if you have relatives here that you haven't heard from, please go to their home.

>> reporter: the powerhouse storms dumping 21 inches on pittsburgh, 28 on philadelphia, a record 25 in baltimore , and 32 inches at washington 's dulles airport . today flights were cancelled throughout the region as airports struggled to recover.

>> pretty much everything is shut down at bwi --

>> reporter: as baltimore 's thurgood marshall tons of snow was moved off runways.

>> they take the snow and dump them in these machines and it melts it and turns it into water.

>> reporter: and at a nearly deserted reagan national more employees than passengers.

>> deal with the weather a little bit, and that's it.

>> reporter: transportation of any kind a challenge. though many roads have seen at least one plow come through, they remain covered in a layer of packed snow. but though millions are still snowbou snowbound, some are making the best of it. and as the region remains covered in ice and snow, others plan to simply wait it out. tonight of the three major airports serving baltimore and washington exactly one runway is open late this afternoon. also today, officials announced the federal government will be closed tomorrow. mike viqueira, nbc news, washington .

>>> and the rough winter weather