Storm Carries on and Roads Slowly Resumeby Jana Ritter - Published: 12/21/2012
At least 11 deaths in the US and four in Canada have been blamed on the historic snowstorm, paralyzing the entire northeast for the last three days. While more than 100,000 people in the region were still without power on Monday morning, (as the storm havoc clear-up continues), driving bans have gradually been lifted across the affected areas since Sunday evening.
In Connecticut the storm dumped at as much as 3 feet of snow, causing President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency for the state and allowing federal aid to be used in recovery. The National Guard was also brought in to help clear snow in New Haven and the state governor ordered all roads closed for nearly a day, after even emergency responders got stuck on highways. Portland Maine also had a record snowfall of 31.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service and this resulted in many drivers getting stuck deep in the snow as well. The state also reported a fatal crash caused by the weather conditions.
Boston was blanketed in up to 2 feet of snow and some communities just outside the city were higher, with the South Shore and Cape Cod being the hardest hit. While two deaths occurred in separate incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning to individuals sitting in running cars to keep warm, the state enforced its first travel ban on roads since the Blizzard of '78, (a ferocious storm that dropped 27 inches of snow, packed hurricane-force winds and claimed dozens of lives). This weekend's storm left more than 400,000 customers without power in the state and many areas were too dangerous to even send in repair crews until early Monday.
As the New York City region started a new workweek on Monday, drivers still had to cope with the aftermath of the mammoth snowstorm and treacherous road conditions making it difficult for road crews to remove the vast amounts of snow. Dozens of cars continued to loose traction and spin out on local roads and even the well-plowed Long Island Expressway remained treacherous, causing an S.U.V. to flip in the eastbound lane just west of Exit 70. John Toohey, an experienced trucker from Chester, N.Y., said the roads were the worst he had seen. “The roads are full of holes, potholes, and its all ice,” he said. “It’s worse than all the hurricanes.”
Although the Interstate 90 is back open Monday, its closure forced many truck drivers off the road and with nowhere to go over the weekend, even as far as South Dakota. One truck stop outside of Pierre became their home-away-from and truck driver Rick O'Donnell camped out their for the entire three days, waiting for the storm to pass. "It's not been fun. I came up here before the snow hit when I stopped. It just kept going and going. Finally I got to a point when I said this is going to be it," O'Donnell said.