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US Mid-Atlantic Digs Out of Epic Snow Storm

A man shovels snow outside his home in Fairfax, Virginia, 7 Feb. 2010

The blizzard battered the US capital and the Mid-Atlantic region, prompting President Barack Obama to call it 'Snowmageddon'

Residents of the mid-Atlantic United States face the daunting task of digging out from another record-setting blizzard that dumped more than 75 centimeters of snow.

This the second major snow storm to hit the Middle Atlantic region in less than two months. It knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people and caused at least two deaths.

According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest blizzard on record dumped 72 centimeters in the Washington, D.C. area in January 1922.

Airports were closed and rail service disrupted. The heavy winds and snow brought down the roof on a hangar at Dulles international airport outside Washington.

States of emergency were declared across the region. Some hospitals appealed to people with four-wheel-drive cars to volunteer to drive doctors and nurses to work.

The snowfall started early Friday and subsided by night, but winds and the snowfall picked up early Saturday, and temperatures dropped, with snow at times falling an inch or two an hour, diminishing visibility for drivers.

A few people ventured out to walk their dogs and play with their children in the snow.

A woman and her children walking their dog and playing in the snow, Fairfax, Virginia, 7 Feb. 2010
A woman and her children walking their dog and playing in the snow, Fairfax, Virginia, 7 Feb. 2010

"We are going to play a lot," said Tony, a resident of Fairfax, Virginia. "We will build a snowman. This is the heaviest storm I have ever seen," he said.

The blizzard also battered the U.S. capital, prompting President Barack Obama to call it "Snowmageddon," a play on words combining "snow" and the apocalyptic event in the Bible known as "Armageddon."

Mr. Obama's motorcade was involved in a minor accident as it left the White House grounds during the storm on Saturday.

Emergency crews struggled to keep pace with the heavy snow that piled up on roadways and toppled trees.

Another significant storm is expected to slam the eastern states Tuesday. It is expected to dump six inches of snow. As temperatures remain below freezing, snow piles will stick around for days.