Nightly News   |  February 10, 2010

Snow turns Big Apple into Great White Way

New Yorkers struggled to go about their business Wednesday despite near-whiteout conditions. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> in new york we dodged a bullet this last weekend storm that dumped so much on washington. our lunn ran out effective with this one. it started snowing overnight. it's still snowing, obviously, and it's going to snow into tonight for a second evening. anne thompson is live in central park not far from here in midtown manhattan . good evening.

>> reporter: hi, brian. you know nothing is cheap in new york , including the snow. mayor michael bloomberg estimates that for every inch of snow that falls, it costs $1 million to clean it up, and here in central park , so far there are seven inches. new york may be the city that never sleeps , but a big wallop of snow tried to bring it to a stand stil.

>> snow falling very hard.

>> reporter: commuters on the long island railroad found plenty of seats into the city as many workers took a snow day.

>> we closed early because all the patients canceled. we work from 8:00 to 8:00 today, no one's coming in because of the weather.

>> reporter: some new yorkers tried to stick to their daily routines, but by mid afternoon it was difficult to get around. local tv went wall-to-wall with warnings.

>> blizzard warnings in effect across long island, for theity and southern new jersey for the rest of tonight.

>> reporter: reporting on cash-strapped cities and towns watch expenses load up with the snow.

>> our budget was shot yesterday.

>> reporter: those who dared to drive soon wished they hadn't. in central pennsylvania, a 50-vehicle pile-up closed a nine-mile section of westbound i-80.

>> the truck in front of me jack knifed. i tried to stop, couldn't. after that, it was one big reaction after another.

>> reporter: mangled tractor trailers littered the snow-swept highway. 17 people sent to the hospital. the furious storm whipped up by 40 mile-an-hour wind gusts grounded air travel , stranding thousands, including ice dancers . a high-flying couple's flight from philadelphia to vancouver was canceled. back in new york with the snow still falling, even the united nations closed its gates, leaving disappointed tourists to find other ways to entertain themselves. across the region, schools were canceled, but on broadway, the shows went on, as hardy tourists waited patiently in line for discounted tickets. now the trick tonight is going to be getting home because this storm strengthens without warning. and it's going to keep snowing for at least a while longer. we are under a blizzard warning here in new york city until 6:00 tomorrow morning. brian?

>> anne thompson in central park .