Alexa

Snowstorm wallops Northeast, piling on the misery

 A snowball fight breaks out at Dupont Circle in Washington in the still-falling snow, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Monsivais)
 People walk in blowing snow during a storm late Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
 A snow plow works to clear Route 1 near Princeton, N.J., during a winter storm Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
 Workers clear a platform at the Edison train station as snow falls during a storm late Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
 Ira Abney negotiates snow-covered subway stairs in the aftermath of a winter storm in Philadelphia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
 People clear their cars while other cars make their way slowly through the streets of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011.  (AP...
 Dave Thomas walks 2 miles to work after finding his street unplowed after another winter storm overnight, in Manchester, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 27, 20...
 A man shovels a walkway to a mailbox in Manchester, Conn., after a winter snow storm, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
 While her brother Seamus Lavelle, 4, left, climbs up, Sinead Lavelle, 5, jumps down a snow hill created by multiple snowstorms and plows on their dea...
 Snow covers a holly tree  in Bloomfield, N.J. after an overnight storm hit the area, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
 Travelers from Tel Aviv whose plane was diverted from Newark, N.J. to the Cleveland airport due to a winter storm that shut down the Newark airport, ...
 Howard Slovin of Hockessin digs his car out of the snow in his driveway to go to work in Newark as Hockessin gets the highest accumulation in Delawar...
 Evelyn Santana, 28, of Newark, N.J., cleans snow off her vehicle, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, in Newark.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Winter Weather

A snowball fight breaks out at Dupont Circle in Washington in the still-falling snow, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Monsivais)

Winter Weather

People walk in blowing snow during a storm late Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Winter Weather

A snow plow works to clear Route 1 near Princeton, N.J., during a winter storm Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

APTOPIX Winter Weather

Workers clear a platform at the Edison train station as snow falls during a storm late Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

APTOPIX Winter Weather PA

Ira Abney negotiates snow-covered subway stairs in the aftermath of a winter storm in Philadelphia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

APTOPIX Winter Weather NYC

People clear their cars while other cars make their way slowly through the streets of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP...

Winter Weather CT

Dave Thomas walks 2 miles to work after finding his street unplowed after another winter storm overnight, in Manchester, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 27, 20...

APTOPIX Winter Weather CT

A man shovels a walkway to a mailbox in Manchester, Conn., after a winter snow storm, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Winter Weather

While her brother Seamus Lavelle, 4, left, climbs up, Sinead Lavelle, 5, jumps down a snow hill created by multiple snowstorms and plows on their dea...

Winter Weather NJ

Snow covers a holly tree in Bloomfield, N.J. after an overnight storm hit the area, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Winter Weather OH

Travelers from Tel Aviv whose plane was diverted from Newark, N.J. to the Cleveland airport due to a winter storm that shut down the Newark airport, ...

Winter Weather

Howard Slovin of Hockessin digs his car out of the snow in his driveway to go to work in Newark as Hockessin gets the highest accumulation in Delawar...

Winter Weather NJ

Evelyn Santana, 28, of Newark, N.J., cleans snow off her vehicle, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, in Newark. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A fierce storm tore up the East Coast on Thursday, with lightning, thunder and tons of wet snow that stranded thousands of road, rail and air travelers.
Many airports, including the three in and around New York City, closed; in Washington, D.C., some 300,000 customers were without power.
The storm had been expected to dump about 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow but far surpassed that in spots. New York got 19 inches (48 centimeters), Philadelphia 17 inches (43 centimeters).
Public schools closed for a second day in many cities, and motorists were warned to stay off slick roads. In New York, even the Statue of Liberty shut down for snow removal.
"What a mess," said Andy Kolstad, a 65-year-old federal statistician from Silver Spring, Maryland, as he walked to a Washington metro subway station because there was no bus service. His uphill hike took him half an hour. "There was no point in staying home because I couldn't have breakfast in the dark," he said.
The region has already been pummeled by winter and it's not even halfway into the season. NY has seen 55 inches (nearly 140 centimeters) of snow so far _ and it typically gets just 21 inches (53 centimeters) for the whole season.
New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, said it was the snowiest January since the city started keeping records, besting 27.4 inches (nearly 70 centimeters) set in 1925.
In Massachusetts, travel was made trickier with high winds. In Lynn, Massachusetts, heavy snow collapsed a garage roof and briefly trapped two men inside before they were rescued safely.
At busy Penn Station, about half the trains listed on the Amtrak departure board were delayed or canceled. Regular Amtrak service was restored between New York and Boston in late morning.
Two major New York-area airports, Newark and Kennedy, had closed for snow removal but began taking flights at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) Hundreds of flights were canceled at both airports. LaGuardia Airport had 168 cancellations. About 1,500 passengers were stranded overnight at Philadelphia International Airport, according to spokeswoman Victoria Lupica.
Flights also resumed at airports in the Washington region after overnight runway closures and flight cancelations that left hundreds of travelers stranded.
Northeast of New York in New Canaan, Connecticut, a Metro-North commuter train ran off the tracks, suspending service. Its two passengers and crew members were not injured.
The Philadelphia area's transit agency, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, suspended nearly all bus service, and road crews worked through the night to gets tons of snow off major arteries.
More than 15,000 people lost power in the Philadelphia area, with thousands more in the dark in New Jersey and the New York area. About 100,000 lost electricity in and around Baltimore.
Crashed, spun-out or disabled cars littered highways. More than 250 cars were disabled on New Jersey highways since Wednesday.
After arriving in Washington from Wisconsin, President Barack Obama couldn't fly on the helicopter that normally takes him home to the White House from a nearby military base. Instead, a motorcade had to snake through Wednesday evening rush hour traffic already slowed by snow and ice.
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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko in Washington; Angie Yack in Gap, Pennsylvania; Frank Eltman in Garden City, New York; Ula Ilnytzky and Eric Carvin in New York City; and Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut.