New York, January 25: A monster snowstorm paralyzed the entire United States’ East Coast, bringing New York and Washington DC to a standstill and affecting some 85 million people. Also, the iconic John F Kennedy International airport partially resumed its services with Air India's plane being the first one to land at the airport. The storm was the second-biggest in New York history, with 68 centimetres of snow in Central Park by midnight on Saturday, just shy of the record 68.3 centimetres set in 2006, the National Weather Service said.A travel ban in New York, which saw its second highest snowfall on record, got lifted later on Sunday. The Government buildings in Washington and many schools will be closed on Monday.
At least 29 deaths have been reported since Friday, when the blizzard began, as a result of car accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks suffered while shovelling snow.
Most of the victims were killed in car accidents in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee. Five died of carbon monoxide poisoning in South Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, state officials said, and five died while shoveling snow in New York and Maryland.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said John F Kennedy International had its first arrival at 7:10 am yesterday as Air India flight landed on the tarmac. The first departing flight left shortly after 10 am.
The three airports in and around the city- LaGuardia, Newwark Liberty and John F Kennedy, however had very limited resumption of service. With 3100 flights failing to take off Friday and 4511 being grounded on Saturday, the total of flights grounded was 11,768 for the four-day period.Other notable snowfall totals came at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (31 inches), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (29.2 inches, a record), Washington Dulles International Airport (28 inches), Newark, New Jersey (28 inches), New York's Central Park (26.8 inches, the second-highest total since 1869) and Philadelphia (22 inches), media agencies reported."We expect airlines to operate limited flight schedules at both airports throughout the day on Monday. Passengers should check with their airlines for information about their specific flights," a media statement said.
Called 'Snowzilla', the blizzard propelled by tropical- storm-force winds brought much of US Northeast to a standstill and left as much as three feet of snow, prompting at least 10 States to declare a state of emergency.
Hundreds of flights were still cancelled, with LaGuardia accounting for more than 700 cancellations yesterday. In Washington DC, all flights remained cancelled over the weekend. In a statement, Reagan International Airport said it expects at least one runway to open for flight operations today. Same was the case with the Dulles International Airport.