Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sneeuwchaos Vs.. ( cnn)

Storm pounds New England; Boston battles blizzard conditions

Cars and pedestrians fight icy roads

NEW: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg lifts weather emergency
NEW: More than 57,000 Massachusetts households are without power, including 25,000 customers in Plymouth County

More than 1,700 flights canceled at three major airports in New York area
Forecasters warned of blizzard conditions in Boston and the surrounding areas
Check weather and airport delays with our travel tracker. Our photo gallery features scenes from the Southern snowstorm. Find out how Atlanta's mayor responded to criticism of his handling of the snowstorm. And did you know that there is currently snow on the ground in every state except Florida?
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New York (CNN) -- Snowstorms that blanketed much of the country barreled across New England on Wednesday, canceling flights, closing schools and creating treacherous road conditions for weather-weary travelers.

The storm pounded Boston as officials issued blizzard warnings across the region.

Forecasters said snow could accumulate up to 24 inches in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

More than 57,000 households are currently without power in Massachusetts, including 25,000 customers in Plymouth County who were affected by a transmission line outage, according to the National Grid utility company's website.

The hardest-hit areas include Plymouth, Bristol, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties in Massachusetts, the utility company said.

"This is the second major storm we are battling in less than three weeks," said Christopher E. Root, National Grid senior vice president of electricity operations. "We ask that our customers bear with us and be patient as our crews work in challenging weather conditions to restore service as safely and quickly as possible."

Amtrak said it has suspended rail service between New York and Boston, also canceling service between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, due to severe weather, according to its website.

Every state except Florida now has snow on the ground, including Hawaii, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

High winds hampered cleanup efforts across the region, particularly along the New England coast, forecasters predicted.

A band of moderate to heavy snow is expected to continue to move north along the coast, with heavy precipitation leaving southern Maine by Wednesday night, officials said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he lifted the "weather emergency" on Wednesday, as salting crews and snow plows finished clearing city streets.

The mayor said that 30 vehicles had been towed as a result of the storm. That number is in stark contrast to the thousands of cars, buses and ambulances left stranded last month after cleanup crews struggled to plow streets days after the storm.

Bloomberg -- who faced sharp criticism over the slow emergency response -- said New York was better equipped to tackle Wednesday's storm.

More than 1,700 flights were canceled at the New York area's three major airports, according to Steve Coleman, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"I think this was a storm that half wasn't." said Thomas Bosco, general manager at LaGuardia Airport in Queens.

He said many airlines pre-emptively canceled flights ahead of the weather Wednesday to avoid massive delays that plagued airports during last month's holiday blizzard.

Philadelphia declared a snow emergency Tuesday night, while public schools there and in Boston were closed.

Nonemergency state employees did not have to report to work Wednesday, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

But New York City public schools remained open, with field trips canceled, according to the office of the city's schools chancellor.

The city's public schools have closed six times -- for a total of eight days -- since 1978, the office said.

Bloomberg on snow: Not business as usual

Critics: Frozen city preps come up short In the South, normally bustling cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, grappled with the unusual onslaught of ice and snow this week.

AirTran Airways spokesman Christopher White said operations would take several days to get back to normal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The company canceled more than 50 Wednesday flights, along with more than 260 flights canceled for Tuesday.

Both Delta Air Lines and AirTran were offering one-time flight changes with no fees for a limited period.