New York City’s record for the snowiest month in history, set less than a year ago, may topple this weekend as more snow falls atop the 19 inches received overnight, forecasters said.
Hundreds of flights were grounded and city schools and non- essential government offices closed today as a storm that began yesterday broke an 86-year-old record for January snowfall. While the storm was over in time for the morning commute, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the snowfall had left streets too treacherous to travel.
“New York City almost never takes a snow day, but today is one of those rare days,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
A total of 36 inches (82 centimeters) has fallen in Central Park so far this month, beating the old January record of 27.4 inches in 1925, the National Weather Service said. The record for snowiest month in New York City history is 36.9 inches, set in February 2010, according to agency data.
The storm that moved up from the U.S. Southeast yesterday sent federal workers home early in Washington and cut power to thousands. Thunderstorms mixed with snow in Washington and with sleet in New York.
United Continental Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp. and other carriers canceled at least 2,048 flights today because of the storm, spokesmen for the carriers said.
John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty airports were closed until 10 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. After opening, both reported delays of more than two hours for some arriving flights.
The Long Island Rail Road canceled 14 westbound trains for the morning commute and will use buses east of Speonk and Ronkonkoma, according to its website. Some subway lines suspended service temporarily in areas where tracks run above ground, and Amtrak halted its New York-Boston service for several hours.
The storm also dropped as much as 16 inches of snow in the Boston area, where Mayor Thomas Menino urged people to stay off the roads and schools were shut. Boston had had 50 inches of snow in the past 30 days, Menino said in an e-mailed statement before the latest round began.
New Jersey Copes
New Jersey state offices closed until noon, according to an e-mailed statement from the State Police. New Jersey Transit suspended bus routes with no estimate on when they’d be restored and said trains would have 30-minute delays, with some canceled and others combined.
In Washington, buses were initially restricted to emergency routes today, though the Metrorail subway was to open at the usual time, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said on its website.
Pepco Holdings Inc. reported at least 87,000 customers in the Maryland suburbs of Washington were without power. “The winter storm has caused extensive damage to our service territory,” according to a statement on the Washington-based utility’s website.
Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc. reported 143,540 customers in Virginia and North Carolina were without electricity as of 11:51 p.m., and in the New York metropolitan area at least 578 customers were affected as of 11:30 p.m. yesterday, according to New York-based Consolidated Edison Inc.
Nineteen inches of snow were reported in Central Park as of 6:30 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Passaic County and Essex counties in New Jersey reported 19 inches, and New Canaan, Connecticut, had 18.
Seven to 9 inches of snow fell from Washington to Baltimore, according to the weather service office in Sterling, Virginia. Philadelphia received 16.5 inches, AccuWeather said.
The storm came exactly one month after a post-Christmas blizzard dropped 20 inches on New York City. About 600 buses were stranded and some streets were unplowed for days.
Federal and local prosecutors launched investigations and the mayor’s approval ratings plunged to their lowest level.
The picture was far different today, Bloomberg told reporters at City Hall, in part because of the lessons learned and in part because buses were pulled from their routes at midnight so streets could be cleared.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
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