A huge winter storm hit the northeastern United States on Monday, the region’s second snowy blast in less than a week, after leaving more than a foot (30 cm) of snow in the Chicago area.
The storm pummeled millions of morning commuters with freezing rain, snow and gusty winds from New York City toBoston.
Up to six inches (15 cm) of snow was forecast for New York City. Boston, already buried under two feet (60 cm) of snow from a blizzard last week, was predicted to see a foot.
Snow-weary residents could take little comfort from groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, who emerged from his burrow on Monday morning in Pennsylvania and saw his shadow. According to legend, seeing his shadow means six more weeks of winter.
The New England Patriots’ victory in Sunday’s Super Bowl football game helped some area residents take the newest snowy onslaught in stride.
“The Super Bowl had already made things great and, wow, now we get this,” said Steve Pieper, 51, an inventor, walking his dog, Duchess, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“This is the perfect snowstorm. This is a perfect New England day,” he said.
The National Weather Service warned residents of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Islandand northern Connecticut to expect as much as a foot of fresh snow from the “potent” storm.
“Bitterly cold weather will settle in behind this system from the Upper Midwest to New England,” the service said on its website.
It warned of “dangerous wind chills” through the coming days.
Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed due to snow and ice at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
The storm, which dropped more than 19 inches (48 cm) of snow at O’Hare, seemingly took some residents by surprise, said Alan Gillman, owner of Gillman Ace Hardware in Chicago.
Customers were clamoring for snow shovels when he opened on Monday, he said.
“People weren’t really thinking ahead,” he said. “I’m getting calls all morning, ‘Do you have shovels? Do you have shovels?'”
Monday’s snow forced the closing of schools from the Midwest to New England, including Chicago Public Schools, the country’s third-largest public school system, and districts in Detroit, Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.