Record-breaking snow hits US, 19 killed, 12,000 flights stopped


The East Coast of America was getting ready to dig its way out of record-breaking snowfall Sunday morning after historic storm Jonas battered the nation on Saturday.
Glengary, West Virginia, topped the charts for the East Coast blizzard with an astonishing 40 inches of snowfall, but 67 locations, mostly in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, reported at least two feet of snow.
Mail on Sunday said Baltimore alone saw record-breaking snowfall of 29 inches, Dulles International Airport outside of Washington was just behind at 23.5 inches of snow, which puts it third all time for that location with another eight hours or so of snow forecast, while New York City saw 26.8 inches just 0.1 inches short of the 2006 record.
Ten states declared emergencies, with more than 12,000 flights canceled across the country over the weekend. Coastal flooding was reported in New Jersey, motorists in Kentucky and Pennsylvania were stranded for more than 24 hours, while the storm’s death toll reached 19. Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. One person died in Maryland and three in New York City while shoveling snow. And two people died of hypothermia in Virginia.
The New York Police Department’s Chief of Department Jim O’Neill told reporters on Saturday one person on Staten Island and two people in Queens died. He released no further details on the deaths.
Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the Office of the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed that two deaths are the result of hypothermia. Those deaths occurred in Hampton and Wise County, in southwest Virginia.
State police did not release the names of the hypothermia victims or the time or circumstances of their deaths.
Meanwhile forecaster Ryan Maue said he was out of words to describe how bad the storm was, adding: ‘This is going to be one of those generational events, where your parents talk about how bad it was.’
On Sunday, it emerged Storm Jonas is heading across the Atlantic bringing violent storm force winds and heavy rain to the UK this week.
Travel bans barring nonemergency vehicles from the roads of New York City and Baltimore are expected to be lifted by early Sunday morning, and mass transit systems that had been partially suspended during the storm were scheduled to run again.
But even as United Airlines said limited service might begin later in the afternoon on Sunday in New York City, airports in the Washington DC area were likely to remain closed Sunday, and other airlines started to cut Monday service in addition to the 8,000 already-canceled weekend flights.
The usually bustling New York City looked more like a ghost town. With Broadway shows dark, thin crowds shuffled through a different kind of Great White Way, the nickname for a section of the theater district. And Bruce Springsteen canceled Sunday’s scheduled show at Madison Square Garden.
In Washington, monuments that would typically be busy with tourists stood vacant. All mass transit in the capital was to be shut down through Sunday.
Seventeen-year-old Alex Cruz, helping a neighbor shovel snow Saturday in Silver Spring, Maryland, couldn’t help but notice the emptiness.
“It’s like living out in the middle of Wyoming,” he said.
Several seaside resort towns in New Jersey were temporarily isolated by flood waters when the tide rushed in on Saturday, and firefighters were hampered by floodwaters and the weather as they battled a blaze at a restaurant.
Coastal flooding has already been reported in New Jersey and 100,000 homes were left without power. New Jersey Transit has been temporarily shut down on Saturday.
The winter storm created near-record high tides along the Jersey Shore, surpassing the tide of Hurricane Sandy according to North Wildwood city officials.
“When the water just started rushing down, it was as impressive as some of the videos you saw of Japan during the tsunamis,” said Jason Pellegrini, owner of Steak Out restaurant in Sea Isle City, who was trapped inside by floodwaters.
“It came in that fast,” he said.