Tuesday 17 January 2017

After the storm: cars buried in snow and paths blocked as clean-up begins

Dean Grey

Published 26/01/2016 | 02:30

People try to navigate a snowbank in the middle of Park Avenue in New York yesterday. Photo: Getty
People try to navigate a snowbank in the middle of Park Avenue in New York yesterday. Photo: Getty

US residents clobbered by the weekend blizzard have trudged into the working week amid slippery roads, disrupted transport services and mounds of snow that buried cars and blocked pavements.

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For others, the weekend extended into yesterday because of closed schools and government offices.

The storm dropped snow along the US east coast from the Gulf Coast to New England, with near-record snowfalls tallied from Washington DC to New York City. At least 31 people died as a result of the storm. The deaths occurred in car accidents, from carbon monoxide poisoning and from heart attacks while shovelling snow.

Flying remained particularly messy after nearly 12,000 weekend flights and hundreds more yesterday were cancelled.

Crews worked all day on Sunday to clear streets devoid of their usual bustle, but one day was not enough to clear many roads. Cars parked in neighbourhoods were encased in snow and pavement entrances were blocked.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged people to leave their cars all week. Some did not have a choice; ploughs clearing streets buried cars under mounds of ice and snow.

Broadway reopened after going dark at the last minute during the snowstorm, but museums were closed in Washington, and the US House of Representatives postponed votes until February.

Overall snowfall of 68cm in Central Park made it New York's second biggest winter storm since records began in 1869, and Saturday's 67.6cm made for a single-day record in the city.

In Washington DC, officials warned residents that it would take several more days for the city to return to normal after the blizzard dropped more than two feet of snow.

Mayor Muriel Bowser urged residents to stay off the streets while crews cleared snow from secondary roadways, parking lanes and highway shoulders.

"It's important to know that the roads are still dangerous," she said. "We're going to be dealing with snow all of this week."

Irish Independent

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