News / USA

Second Major Blizzard in Days Slams US Northeast; Federal Government Closes Again

This is the second major storm in less than a week. It hits just three days after a historic blizzard buried the nation's capital in as much as 90 centimeters of snow

Road crews removing snow in the U.S. capital, 10 Feb 2010
Road crews removing snow in the U.S. capital, 10 Feb 2010

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

Another major snowstorm is battering the northeastern United States, forcing the U.S. government to close for a third consecutive day. Closing federal government offices can cost $100 million a day in lost productivity.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch for residents in the Washington area, warning them not to drive, reporting "life-threatening" conditions. 

Some essential federal employees have been staying on the job since Monday. Others find it difficult to make it to their offices as many roads in the nation's capital and surrounding areas are still unplowed.

Maryland, Virginia and the Washington, D.C., have already exceeded their annual budgets for snow removal since last month's record storm, which dropped more than 60 centimeters of snow in some areas.

Some hospitals canceled nonessential surgeries and procedures. Others appealed to residents with 4-wheel-drive vehicles to help pick up doctors and nurses and drive them to work.

VOA's David Clements took a firsthand look at area roads in this special web-only video report.

The storm prompted airport closures in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Washington. Thousands of homes throughout the region are still without power, and the roofs of some houses have collapsed due to the weight of the snow.

Hundreds of schools have also been shut down in the Washington area since last week due to the unprecedented snowfall. In New York City, the mayor announced school shutdowns.  The United Nations also announced its headquarters will be closed on Wednesday and appointments for the secretary-general rescheduled.

This is the second major storm in less than a week. It hits just three days after a historic blizzard buried the nation's capital in as much as 90 centimeters of snow, prompting President Barack Obama to call it "Snowmageddon," a play on words combining "snow" and the apocalyptic event in the Bible known as "Armageddon."

Wednesday's storm is expected to dump as much as 50 centimeters of snow by late in the day in much of the eastern United States, including the capital Washington, D.C.

With the latest snowfall, the city may set the mark for its snowiest winter on record.  According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest blizzard on record dumped 72 centimeters in the Washington, D.C. area in January 1922.

Forecasters say an area of low pressure will strengthen rapidly during the day along the Mid-Atlantic region, bringing gusty winds not only to the Northeast but also to much of the country east of the Mississippi River.

Elizabeth Monnac contributed to this story with the slideshow.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid