By Arun Kumar, Washington, Feb 14 IANS | 6 months ago

Walloping a second punch, snow returned to the American capital even as Washingtonians were digging out of the worst storm in four years that spread heavy snow and sleet along America's East Coast.


About 1.2 million homes and businesses across America lost power as the storm moved from the South through the Northeast leading to the closure of the federal government and grounded more than 6,500 flights on Thursday alone.

At least 21 deaths, most of them in traffic accidents, were blamed on the storm as it made its way across the South and up the coast, according to CBS.

Among the victims was a pregnant woman who was struck and killed by a snowplough in New York City. Her baby was delivered in critical condition via caesarean section.

Government offices in Washington, which had at least 8 inches of snow, would open two hours late Friday, but schools and colleges in the region would remain closed for the second day.

While New York City received nearly 10 inches, Baltimore awoke to 15 inches of snow. Philadelphia had nearly 9 inches, making it the fourth 6-inch snowstorm of the season - the first time that has happened in the city's history.

Parts of New Jersey had over 11. The Boston area was expecting 4 to 6, while inland Connecticut and Massachusetts were looking at a foot or more.

Some 625,000 customers-more than half of whom were in North and South Carolina-were still without power up and down the East Coast by Thursday evening, according to CNN FlightAware, an air travel tracking website, reported around 8 pm Thursday that nearly 6,500 flights originating in or destined for the US had been cancelled.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

(Posted on 14-02-2014)