A worker clears snow from an office park, on Tuesday, in Cambridge, Mass.
Commuters across the Northeast faced treacherous trips into work on Wednesday morning after a winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the region and left temperatures hovering near zero.
From New England to Kentucky, the storm forced the cancellation of thousands of flights. Many schools were closed and speed restrictions were enacted on key roads such as Interstate 95.
The snow had largely stopped by Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Even though it will be sunny, the snow is unlikely to melt for several days as temperatures will remain bitterly cold, the National Weather Service said. Wind chills will dip below zero for much of the Northeast, and high temperatures are likely to stay below 30 until Saturday.
In New York City, 11 inches of snow fell in Central Park, setting a record for Jan. 21. More than 13 inches fell in Philadelphia, and many towns in New Jersey saw more than a foot. There is a chance for more isolated snow on Friday.
“It was a classic nor’easter,” said David Stark, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
A man attempts to sleep on his suitcase at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday.
Almost 3,000 flights were canceled across the Northeast. Service had stopped overnight at New York City’s La Guardia Airport—it was expected to resume around 8:30 a.m., said a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokeswoman.
More than 10,000 Con Edison customers lost power overnight in Staten Island, but it had been largely restored by Wednesday morning, according to the utility. Other utility companies across New York and New Jersey reported limited outages.
The storm was blamed for at least one death in Maryland, after a car skidded into the path of a tractor-trailer, officials told the Associated Press. Another crash that killed two people in Maryland may have also been caused by the snow, the officials said, citing a preliminary investigation. There were no fatal accidents overnight in New York City, said a spokesman for the police department.
New York City’s schools opened on a normal schedule, but some districts in New Jersey and Long Island closed for the day. “Travel conditions may be difficult, and families should exercise their own judgment when taking their children to school,” New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said. Schools closed for the day in Boston and Providence.
Donna Flynn, assistant principal at Most Precious Blood School in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, was standing outside as students arrived.
“They’ve got rosy cheeks, but they’re coming,” said Ms. Flynn. “We’re an urban school and most kids walk. We’re bringing them in slowly and safely.”
She said she expected attendance at the private Catholic elementary school to be at 50% or less. For parents with children in more than one school, “it’s hard for them,” Ms. Flynn said.
New York City subways were running on a largely normal schedule, with some delays. PATH trains were operating normally, the Port Authority said. Bus service was subject to individual road conditions. The Long Island Rail Road was running on a weekend schedule—riders said trains were packed with passengers—and delays were expected on Metro-North Railroad.
Amtrak said its Northeast Corridor line was operating but with reduced frequency.
Trains seemed to be running fairly regularly at the Borough Hall station in Brooklyn Heights. For many commuters, the underground subway was a reprieve from the startlingly cold temperatures.
A man shovels snow off his car in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning.
Denise Sanchez, 54 years old, was at least 30 minutes late for work because her bus was delayed. Ms. Sanchez takes the B61 from her downtown Brooklyn home to the 2 train every morning. “It’s better than being two hours late,” she said. “The walk was fine, I think the streets are clean. It’s really cold, it’s freezing.”
New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said 2,300 workers and more than 450 salt spreaders are on the roads Wednesday, concentrating on widening thoroughfares, clearing bus stops, areas around schools and crosswalks.
Mr. Doherty said 100% of primary streets had been plowed, along with 99% of secondary streets and 90% of tertiary streets. “There are still some white streets” though, he said.
“During the last 8 hours, we did very well considering the temperatures we had,” he added.
He said cold conditions over the next two days are going to create problems in removing snow, and that drivers need to be careful for black ice.
“The salt is not going to react as well,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a little sun, but we’re going to expect a difficult time for the next couple of days.”
In the Boston area, a blizzard warning was in effect until 1 p.m. for Cape Cod, coastal parts of a nearby county and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Massachusetts Gov.
postponed a planned Tuesday evening “State of the Commonwealth” speech as the storm ramped up.
Commuters bundle up against the cold while walking to the Takoma Metro station on Wednesday in Washington, DC.
The storm also served as a test for New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio. Some officials criticized him for the city’s response to the snow.
On the Upper East Side, Council member Dan Garodnick said “serious backups” were caused on Tuesday because many roads hadn’t been plowed.
Council member Vincent Ignizio said there were similar issues on Staten Island. “Something went wrong here with the response and we at the Council should use our oversight authority as we did in the past to find out what,” he said.
Mr. Doherty rejected the criticism, saying some of the complaints were due to Tuesday evening to traffic jams that were caused during rush hour.
“We did have white roadways. Some people’s vehicles started slipping on them. We were stuck in traffic just as everyone else was,” he said. “Every borough and neighborhood in this city gets treated exactly the same. We in sanitation run the same operation we have run for many, many mayors.”
— Jon Kamp, Jackie Bischof and Brett Philbin contributed to this article.
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