Millions were making their way back to work Monday after a weekend snowstorm that socked the Northeast. Here’s what you need to know:
• Two people in New Jersey died during the blizzard that hit the region over the weekend, bringing the number of people reported dead as a result of the storm to at least 29. The mother and son were inside a car trying to stay warm while the father shoveled snow outside, police in Passaic, New Jersey, said. The car’s exhaust pipe was blocked with snow, police said, causing carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle. A daughter who was also in the car is in critical condition, police said.
• Airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights Monday. Another 3,225 were delayed, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.
• Washington’s mayor told residents it will be days before snow removal is over.
• U.S. government offices in the Washington area remained closed Monday after the weekend storm, as did state government offices in Maryland and Virginia.
• Public schools in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia as well as some New Jersey and New York City schools remained closed.
The calendar may say Monday, but for lots of people along the East Coast, it’s another snow day instead.
Among those taking the day off while street crews, plow owners and enterprising teens clean up the mess left behind by the weekend blizzard: federal workers in the nation’s capital, state employees in Maryland and Virginia, plenty of private-sector employees and schoolchildren all over the region.
“People are out having snowball fights, having a good time,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
It wasn’t all fun and games, of course.
Authorities in Washington and New York, where a travel ban was lifted Sunday, asked people to remain off the roads whenever possible to give crews space to clear side streets and other locations still packed with snow.
Transit workers in New York struggled to get the Long Island Railroad back into operation, restoring service for about 80% of riders by Monday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blizzard will almost certainly rank among his city’s “top five snowstorms” in recorded history in terms of snow accumulation.
“Things are not entirely normal today, but a lot of the city is operating well,” de Blasio said, thanking city employees for their hard work.
In Washington, where recovery didn’t seem quite as far along, Mayor Muriel Bowser warned residents of “several days of cleanup ahead of us.”
“Know that we’re going to be dealing with snow all of this week,” she said.
Three of the city’s six Metrorail lines remained out of service. All but one of the city’s Metro stations were to open by 11 a.m., with the remaining station opening soon after, according to city officials.
The city’s airports also slowly returned to life, with limited flight schedules.
Airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights Monday, less than half Sunday’s total, but enough to cause plenty of headaches.
One passenger at Reagan National Airport in Washington was hoping to get home Monday after eight cancellations. Others remained stuck in limbo.
At least 29 people died as a result of the storm — nine in New York, six in North Carolina, six in Virginia, two in New Jersey and one each in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington.
Official tallies of deaths during the storm were higher, but CNN has not been able to confirm individual reports, and it was unclear if all of the reported fatalities were weather-related. Many of the deaths were the result of snow shoveling.
In New York, police reported Monday that a Staten Island man died after shoveling snow over the weekend. That brought the death toll in New York City to five, according to the mayor. In Long Island’s Nassau County, police said four people died because of the storm: three after shoveling snow and a fourth hit by a snowplow.
The Pennsylvania death was a 56-year-old man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after a snowplow buried his car, according to the Berks County Coroner’s Office. He was trapped for 45 minutes to an hour, according to witnesses.
In Washington, chief medical examiner Dr. Roger Mitchell Jr. said an 82-year-old man died while shoveling snow, the city’s first storm fatality.
Another snow-shoveling death with a Washington link: a U.S. Capitol police officer who died clearing snow at his Delaware home, according to a release from Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, a former member of the Capitol Police force.
Authorities warned residents about trying to shovel out, saying the stress of such exertion could bring on heart attacks.
“Some of our guys out there, they want to be Superman,” Rawlings-Blake said. “But they don’t have to be. They can be Superman 30 minutes at a time.”
One of the hardest-hit locales was Glengary, West Virginia, about 85 miles northwest of Washington, which preliminary figures show received 42 inches of snow.
Other notable snowfall totals came at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (31 inches), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (29.2 inches, a record), Washington Dulles International Airport (28 inches), Newark, New Jersey (28 inches), New York’s Central Park (26.8 inches, the second-highest total since 1869) and Philadelphia (22 inches).
The storm, which has moved into the Atlantic, is expected to reach Scotland by Wednesday. It won’t have the same impact it did on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, but high winds and waves are expected there, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
In New Jersey, some residents said they were reeling from flooding worse than the devastation from Superstorm Sandy.
“There was much more water. … Everybody was affected. It was bad,” said Keith Laudeman, who owns a restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey.
Jason Pellegrini said he saw water rushing in from his home in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.
“I heard commotion out my window, and I looked and I saw the raging water,” he said. “It came in to the low-lying areas, and it rushed fast.”
In North Wildwood, the high tide was much higher than anticipated and caught many of the town’s 5,000 year-round residents off guard, with flooding levels that exceeded those during Sandy, said Patrick Rosenello, the city’s mayor.
“We had a lot of evacuations, a lot of people who had stayed in their homes not anticipating this, needing to be rescued,” Rosenello said.
Traffic a mess
Motorists faced the storm’s wrath while stuck on highways.
Road accidents Friday night caused a 7-mile backup involving around 500 vehicles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman said.
The massive backup, which left some motorists stranded for almost 24 hours, spurred an apology Sunday from the turnpike’s chairman.
“I can promise you all that there will be a thorough analysis of the events that led up to this incident as well as a review of what occurred over the course of the last 2½ days,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan said in a written statement. “I want to be certain that we do a better job the next time something like this occurs, and that we can learn from this tragedy.”
In central Kentucky, some drivers were stranded along a 35-mile stretch of Interstate 75 for as long as 19 hours, from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning.
And as many as 200 vehicles got stuck on I-77 in West Virginia, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.
Impact in Asia
Record low temperatures also wreaked havoc in Asian countries, with 85 people reported dead in Taiwan and tens of thousands stranded at airports because of the unprecedented cold snap.
In South Korea, at least 90,300 saw their flights canceled over the weekend due to bad weather, and more than 10,000 travelers faced severe delays at Kunming Changshui International Airport in southwestern China.
Taiwan authorities advised people to stay indoors after the deaths, while in Hong Kong, teeth-chattering temperatures forced kindergartens and primary schools to close Monday.
China renewed an orange alert, its second-most serious weather warning, with major highways blocked by snow and sleet just as peak travel season for the Lunar New Year vacation kicks off.