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Bitter cold, lingering outages after snowstorm

/ Source: The Associated Press

More than 80,000 homes and businesses remained without power Tuesday, most in the Southeast, after a late winter storm dumped snow across that region and the East Coast, where some areas got up to 16 inches.

Temperatures across New Jersey hovered in the single digits Tuesday as wind chills dipped below zero. New York City's Central Park felt like zero for much of the morning. Eastern Pennsylvania saw temperatures in the teens and low 20s with windchills just above zero.

Traffic on an interstate in East Hartford, Conn., was backed up nine miles early Tuesday after a minivan crashed into the rear of a state snow plow. The 62-year-old van driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Some schools canceled or delayed classes for thousands of kids for a second straight day.

Duke Energy said about 40,000 customers in North and South Carolina still had no service Tuesday morning. Electricity might not be restored until Wednesday night, the utility said.

Dominion Virginia Power reported about 30,000 customers still without electricity Tuesday morning, including nearly 18,000 in the Richmond area.

In northeast Georgia, seven county school systems remained closed for a second day as more than 14,000 customers were left in the dark by the storm. Utilities expected power to be restored Tuesday afternoon.

Several hundred thousand homes and businesses across the Southeast and Northeast were without power at the height of the storm's impact on Monday.

Travel chaos
The storm also caused travel chaos across the Northeast on Monday.

Travelers were stranded nearly everywhere, with about 950 flights canceled at the three main airports in the New York area and nearly 300 flights canceled in Philadelphia. Boston's Logan International Airport had to shut down for about 40 minutes to clear a runway, and hundreds of flights were canceled there.

Also Monday, dozens of schools across North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Maine gave children a snow day. Schools in Philadelphia, Boston and New York City did the same. It was the first time in more than five years that New York City called off classes for its 1.1 million public school students.

The storm offered a hint of irony in a couple of cities.

People had to brave the snow and cold to attend the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, an indoor exhibition that provided a fragrant, spring-like glimpse of yellow daffodils, crimson azaleas and white tulips. In the nation's capital, hundreds of protesters gathered on Capitol Hill to protest a power plant and global warming during one of the worst storms of the year.

No shovels
At a Lowe's home improvement store in Glen Burnie, Md., snow shovels and bags of salt were sold out before noon on Monday, employee Eric Pennington said. But Pennington wasn't too busy — he works in the garden section, where an order of azaleas just arrived.

"Nobody expects 6 to 8 inches of snow outside on March 2," Pennington said. "We know there aren't going to be people here buying soil and mulch and plants and roses."