- Financial exchanges plan regular operations after blizzard
- Federal government offices closed in nation's capital Monday
New York and New Jersey restored transportation services on Sunday and strove to be ready for a near-normal workweek, while Washington struggled to overcome the blizzard that blanketed parts of the Mid-Atlantic region with two feet of snow.
Stock, bond, and commodities markets in New York are planning to operate on regular schedules Monday, spokeswomen said. Federal offices in Washington will be closed on Monday, the Office of Personnel Management said. The House of Representatives canceled all votes scheduled for the week, and the Senate postponed to Wednesday from Tuesday a vote to confirm John M. Vazquez as a district judge for New Jersey.
The Washington-to-New York corridor is recovering from a weekend storm that brought the region to a standstill, cut power to several hundred thousand customers, and was blamed for at least 18 deaths. By the time the snow stopped falling in New York on Saturday night, it measured 26.8 inches (68 cm) deep in Central Park. That’s the second-most logged after a single storm and just 0.1 inches shy of the record set in February 2006.
The blizzard picked up steam after traveling across the South and Midwest. It dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of Ohio, North Carolina and Kentucky before hitting the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with full force Saturday morning. West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland logged some of the heaviest snowfall while Massachusetts was largely spared precipitation of the magnitude it sustained last winter.
Air services were resuming in New York on Sunday, but two of Washington’s three airports remained closed.
American Airlines Group Inc. canceled more than 1,600 flights scheduled for Sunday as its operations remained closed at the major airports in New York and Washington, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Southwest Airlines Co. canceled about 550 flights on Sunday and 40 on Monday, according to its website. Delta Air Lines Inc. resumed operations in New York and Philadelphia on Sunday and expects flights to and from Washington will begin Monday.
Buses began plying New York’s streets, bridges and tunnels Sunday morning as a travel ban was lifted, while the Metro-North Railroad and above-ground subway service was gradually restored, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s website. Service was suspended on the Long Island Railroad as the line, which serves the area to the east of the city, struggled with rail yards buried in snow, frozen switches and stalled trains.
“Today is going to be a very intense clean up day,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” Sunday. “We think we’ll be broadly up and running again at the city tomorrow.” The city’s alternate-side parking rules will be suspended through Friday to facilitate snow removal, de Blasio said at a news conference.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on CNN’s "State of the Union" Sunday that about 22,000 people in two areas of the state were without electricity at 8 a.m. and that most would have power restored by the end of the day. No storm-related deaths have been reported in the state, he said.
“All of New Jersey’s roadways are open this morning. New Jersey Transit, buses, and light rail will be ready by noon today,” Christie said. “When we get to our morning rush tomorrow morning, we will be ready to go with no problem at all.”
The Washington area’s Metro subway system plans to reopen some underground routes at 7 a.m. Monday, according to its website. Metro won’t charge fares for the day. Service will still be unavailable to many key Washington-area locations, including rail routes that link to Ronald Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon in suburban Virginia. The system may expand service “as conditions allow.”
Snow totaled 29.2 inches at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the most since Baltimore began keeping records in 1892. Cleanup efforts on roads are still under way. “We urge motorist to NOT drive unless it’s absolutely necessary,” the Maryland Transportation Authority tweeted on Sunday morning.
Most public and charter schools in Washington and its suburbs will be closed Monday, according to the District of Columbia Public Schools’ website.
Many schools in the Philadelphia area will also remain closed Monday, according to local media reports. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which serves the city and its suburbs, restored some bus and trolley service Sunday afternoon. It expects regional rail lines, which remain suspended, will operate Monday morning with delays, it said in a press release.
New York City schools will be open, De Blasio said.
Flights resumed at New York’s three main airports. The storm wiped out at least 13,000 trips in the Northeast, a tally that’s likely to rise as some airlines pre-emptively scrapped flights scheduled for Monday, data tracker FlightAware.com said Sunday in an e-mailed statement.
LaGuardia Airport was the most affected New York airport with more than three quarters of flights grounded, according to FlightAware. At least half the flights at Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport were canceled.
Washington’s Dulles International and Reagan National airports will remain closed on Sunday, spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs said. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall planned to reopen Sunday afternoon but airport officials cautioned on its Twitter account that “airlines will be slow to get back on track.” Its website showed a few flights scheduled to depart or arrive late Sunday.
Several dozen flights between Europe and the U.S. East Coast were canceled or delayed. British Airways canceled six London to New York flights and all three Washington bound services Sunday, according to its website, which shows three other flights subject to delays. Virgin Atlantic canceled three flights from London to Washington and New York. Both carriers said flights to Boston were operating with delays.
Flights from Continental Europe also were scrapped, with 10 inbound and outbound New York and Washington flights canceled in Zurich and Air France eliminating 12 flights to the U.S. East Coast over the weekend. Lufthansa canceled 14 inbound and outbound U.S.-Germany flights Sunday, disrupting service at Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich. The Swedish carrier SAS canceled its Washington and New York services to and from Copenhagen and Oslo Sunday. Moscow Sheremetyevo airport said on its website that two Aeroflot flights to New York were canceled today while two others flew on schedule.
Services that offer deliveries to city dwellers suffered disruptions during the storm and were seeking to placate customers as operations returned to normal.
GrubHub Inc., which delivers restaurant food under its own brand and also as Seamless, said it’s refunding orders that went unfilled. The company is speaking with restaurants “to stay up-to-date as they choose to re-open,” spokeswoman Katie Norris said in an e-mail.
Online grocer Fresh Direct Holdings Inc. is making “only sporadic deliveries in Manhattan,” according to spokeswoman Amanda Cortese Vogel. She said it would resume normal operations for New York City, its suburbs and Philadelphia on Monday. The company is working with government officials to donate food it couldn’t deliver to organizations including City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City.
The storm brought more business to some vendors. Percy’s BBQ & Darts in New York’s East Village on Saturday welcomed a surge of thirsty customers who braved the blizzard to find their nearest bar, Steven Smith, the venue’s general manager, said by phone. Also on Sunday, the tavern was filling up more quickly than normal as the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos squared off in a post-season football game, he said.
“There’s a lot of small apartments in the area that people share, and many of them just want to get out,” Smith said. “But of course, in that weather, you’re limited to how far you can walk.”