The northeastern United States was hit by massive snow storm Wednesday. More than a half meter of snow fell on New York City, making this month the whitest January on record.
New York’s eight million plus residents awoke again to the sound of snow plows, as a fresh blanket of snow slowed commutes and made walking treacherous.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who received sharp criticism for what many said was an inadequate emergency response to a blizzard last month, appeared pleased to announce most of the city’s main roads had been cleared by mid morning.
"We learned and we asked the questions on what did not work last time and if there is anything we could do differently in terms of lining up private contractors," said Bloomberg. "We have more communications [infrastructure] as you know….”
The city’s efforts were not enough to allow this truck driver to make his normal glass deliveries. He had to park at a 45 degree angle in a Broadway intersection to unload cargo destined for an apartment along a side street. .
“We can not unload at the service entrances because of the snow plows and we can climb over it with all our windows, so we have to get out," he said. "It is a lot of snow.” [It] makes it a little difficult."
The eighth-largest snowstorm in the city’s history forced the temporary closure of all three of the area’s major airports, which are among the busiest in the nation.
More than 1.5 meters of snow has fallen on the city already this season, triple the average amount of snowfall for an entire season.
The Big Apple’s children appeared thrilled that schools were closed - only the sixth time since 1978 that this has happened. This girl took a moment’s break from playing with the snow.
"I like how it is kind of a new world," she said. "It is not dirty New York City any more, but it is a white nice magical world.
There are as many opinions about the snow as there are New Yorkers, but one thing is certain: there will be more snow before winter ends in two months, no matter what they think about it.
The snowstorm was not restricted to New York City. The entire northeast was blanketed by the storm. In Washington, President Barack Obama's motorcade was stuck in traffic for an hour, as his helicopter, Marine One, was grounded due to ice. Three hundred flights were cancelled in Philadelphia's airport. In Boston*, Massachusetts, the state capital, officials were concerned that the city had already exhausted its snow emergency funds, while elsewhere in New England, ski area operators and reported near-perfect conditions.
*In an earlier version of this story, VOA referred to Springfield as the capital of Massachusetts, we regret the error.