Alexa

Snowstorm wallops Northeast, piling on the misery

 Shelby, a German Shepherd mix, tries to catch a snowball thrown by her owner Mikell Olson at Port Imperial, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Weehawken, N...
 Sebastian Campbell, who is homeless, lays beneath a blanket brought to him by Project H.O.M.E. Outreach Response Worker Sam Santiago during a winter ...
 A man makes his way through a snowstorm, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in New York. Residents coped with treacherous roads and sidewalks as another storm...
 People make their way through a snowstorm, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in New York. Residents coped with treacherous roads and sidewalks as another sto...
 A vehicle lies on the side of the road along Kelly Drive during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
 A homeless veteran who declined to be identified speaks with an outreach worker, not pictured, under an overpass during a winter storm in Philadelphi...
 Bicycles are covered with snow during a snowstorm in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
 Evening commuters wait for the bus to come at rush hour heavy falling snow storm in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)...
 A snowball fight breaks out at Dupont Circle in Washington in the still-falling snow, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Monsivais)
 A portion of the motorcade carrying President Barack Obama makes its way through a snowstorm near Morningside, Md, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, en route...
 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)

Winter Weather NJ

Shelby, a German Shepherd mix, tries to catch a snowball thrown by her owner Mikell Olson at Port Imperial, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Weehawken, N...

Winter Weather

Sebastian Campbell, who is homeless, lays beneath a blanket brought to him by Project H.O.M.E. Outreach Response Worker Sam Santiago during a winter ...

Winter Weather

A man makes his way through a snowstorm, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in New York. Residents coped with treacherous roads and sidewalks as another storm...

Winter Weather

People make their way through a snowstorm, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in New York. Residents coped with treacherous roads and sidewalks as another sto...

Winter Weather

A vehicle lies on the side of the road along Kelly Drive during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Winter Weather

A homeless veteran who declined to be identified speaks with an outreach worker, not pictured, under an overpass during a winter storm in Philadelphi...

Winter Weather

Bicycles are covered with snow during a snowstorm in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Winter Weather

Evening commuters wait for the bus to come at rush hour heavy falling snow storm in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)...

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)

Obama Snow Winter Weather

A portion of the motorcade carrying President Barack Obama makes its way through a snowstorm near Morningside, Md, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, en route...

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)

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 400,000 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.
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.
Two major New York-area airports, Newark and Kennedy, closed for snow removal but were scheduled to begin taking flights at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT). Hundreds of flights were cancelled at both airports. Nearby LaGuardia Airport had 168 cancellations. About 1,500 passengers were stranded overnight at Philadelphia International Airport, according to spokeswoman Victoria Lupica.
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.
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.