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City of White House(s) grinds to a halt in DC snow chaos

The second major snowstorm in less than a week has slammed the US east coast from Washington to New York, forcing the United Nations to close and the Congress to curtail legislative action.

The US National Weather Service predicted up to 14 inches of snow in New York and Washington, with Baltimore forecast to get up to 20 inches and Philadelphia up to 19 inches.

Government offices in Washington are closed today -- the third day running -- at a cost of roughly $100m (€72m) in lost productivity per day.

The United Nations said its New York headquarters will also be closed due to the storm.

Forecasters also were predicting strong winds that could cause additional power outages.

Residents were still trying to dig out from record snowfalls of 18 to 32 inches last weekend from Washington to southern New Jersey.

Some tried to restock refrigerators and clear fallen trees before the new storm arrived.

The cold weather helped push heating oil futures higher. There still were a few thousand customers without power in the Washington area while subway and bus services were limited.

The latest storm has been dubbed 'Snoverkill' and 'Snomageddon 2.0' and prompted many Washington-area schools to call off classes for the rest of the week.

Even the battle-tested New York public school system said it would be closed today.


Boston, which is also expecting to be hit by the storm, has declared a snow emergency.

"I love it. I can handle one more round," said government lawyer David Kaplan (50), as he shovelled snow off his roof in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside Washington.

He spent the past few days sledding and building a luge run in his yard. But Mr Kaplan also said he spent a fair amount of time shovelling his driveway and roof.

"It's hard work and I hope never to do it again," he said.

The House of Representatives cancelled votes for the week.

However Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would would resume work tomorrow.

Senator Reid said he doubted the Senate would have any votes this week. Many congressional hearings were also called off.

AMR Corp's American Airlines cancelled flights today in and out of Washington's three area airports as well as Philadelphia.

Carriers also once again relaxed their ticket policies to allow passengers to change flight plans around the storm.

Both moves could cloud the outlook for an industry already hard hit by the battered economy.

Amtrak passenger rail service warned of limited service along its lucrative Northeast corridor.


The storm left a battered midwest in its wake, with cancelled flights in Chicago and up to 17 inches of snow in Iowa.

Livestock traders said the inclement weather had caused cattle to lose substantial weight, with producers having to feed the cattle more just to keep them warm.