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US Government Closes for Third Day Due to Snowstorms

U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. Capitol Building

The U.S. federal government has closed its offices in the capital for a third consecutive day because of two major snowstorms that hit the mid-Atlantic region within days of each other.

The latest storm was expected to drop as much as 50 centimeters of snow by late Wednesday, reaching from the Washington area up to New York City. New York has declared a rare snowday for its public schools.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled at major airports in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Washington.

The United Nations has announced its headquarters in New York City will be closed on Wednesday and appointments for the secretary-general rescheduled.

U.S. federal government offices have been closed since Friday afternoon, with a few agencies and parts of the White House and Congress operating this week. The House of Representatives has canceled all votes until February 22, when members return from a week-long winter break.

Saturday, a powerful blizzard pummeled the region with up to 90 centimeters of snow in some areas. Many roads in the nation's capital are still unplowed, and the Washington, D.C. subway had just restored most of its services Tuesday.

Thousands of homes throughout Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware are still without power, and the roofs of some houses have collapsed due to the weight of the snow.

Following the lead of U.S. President Barack Obama, residents and media are calling the storm "Snowmageddon."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.