Northeast deals with fresh snow after Midwest gets blanketed
BOSTON (AP) Another winter storm inflicted fresh misery on the Northeast on Monday, causing the cancellation of flights, classes and major court cases a day after it dumped up to a foot-and-a-half of snow on the Chicago area and blanketed much of the Plains and Midwest.
Here's how the storm is playing out:
The snowstorm, which brought 17.5 inches of snow to O'Hare International Airport by early Monday, was expected to deepen off the southern New England coast, bringing accumulations of 9 to 16 inches to Boston and nearly as much to Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Vermont places still digging out from up to 3 feet dumped by last week's blizzard.
"For New Englanders, we're used to this during the winter," said Matt Doody of the National Weather Service. But he cautioned that both the morning and evening commutes would be messy.
Snowfall totals in New York state were to vary from 6 to 10 inches in Buffalo and Binghamton and 8 to 14 inches in Albany. A winter storm warning is out for more than 20 counties, with up to 16 inches forecast for the eastern Catskill Mountains, and northern and central Taconics. Many Long Island schools delayed opening or closed due to a forecast of snow and freezing rain. The storm was expected to dump between 3 to 5 inches of snow north of the Long Island Expressway and slightly less to the south.
The Philadelphia area received about an inch of snow before the precipitation changed to rain. Forecasters expected 3 to 5 inches to fall in the Lehigh Valley, and 5 to 11 inches in northern Pennsylvania.
Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, could get 4 to 9 inches, and Toledo and the northwest part of the state were headed for 3 to 7 inches.
TRAVEL AND OUTAGES
More than 5,300 flights were canceled over Sunday and Monday due to the storm, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. Super Bowl fans heading back to the East were having a hard time getting out of Arizona.
In New Jersey, non-essential state employees were told to report as part of a delayed opening, while essential employees were to follow regular schedules.
Amtrak planned to operate a normal schedule, but with some modifications. It said it would have extra crews available to remove downed trees or make infrastructure repairs.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned residents of snow and ice, but most morning commuters dealt with slush and rain. But the mayor's warning might hold Monday afternoon, when snow and freezing rain were forecast to return to the area.
DELAYS, CANCELLATIONS AND OUTAGES
The snowstorm is delaying two of the nation's biggest court cases the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Proceedings were expected to resume Tuesday.
Across the country, hundreds of public schools canceled classes due to the danger of children traveling. Many parochial schools and colleges did the same.
The weather led to power outages, including roughly 10,000 ComEd customers in Illinois on Sunday evening. That number had been cut to 5,500 by midnight CST and was down to 2,500 statewide early Monday.
RECORD-SETTING STORM IN MICHIGAN
The storm dropped 1 feet of snow as it passed over Michigan's Lower Peninsula, extending the weekend for children at hundreds of schools into Monday and giving Detroit its biggest snowfall in four decades.
The storm made driving slow and dangerous. Communities across Michigan declared snow emergencies as road crews and residents worked to clear roads, driveways and sidewalks of snow. Freeway off-ramps were a problem, police said.
The National Weather Service said 16.7 inches fell at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus on Sunday and Monday. It was the No. 3 snow on record for Detroit and the area's most since a 19.3-inch dump Dec. 1-2, 1974, the agency said.
The Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas got the most, mostly ranging from 12 to 18 inches. A total of 18.5 inches came in for Battle Creek. Twenty inches was reported in downtown Kalamazoo, but the weather service says blowing a drifting snow may have inflated that measurement.
Ann Arbor got 14.1 inches of snow. The Grand Rapids and Lansing areas had reports of 9-11 inches.
Ohio officials said a Toledo police officer died while shoveling snow in his driveway Sunday and the city's 70-year-old mayor was hospitalized after an accident while he was out checking road conditions.
The officer, who was not named, died of an apparent heart attack. City and medical officials say Mayor D. Michael Collins was hospitalized after he had a heart attack and his SUV crashed into a pole.
In Nebraska, a truck driver and a 62-year-old woman were killed in separate traffic accidents on snowy roads. In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said a 64-year-old man with a history of cardiac problems was found dead Sunday in his garage after shoveling snow.
SOME REALLY DIG IT
Tony Troc looks on the bright side of shoveling snow: Hey, it's a pretty good workout.
"It doesn't bother me at all," the supermarket warehouse worker said after clearing another eight inches of snow from his driveway in Whitman, 20 miles south of Boston. "If I didn't like it, I'd be in Florida."
"I live for this stuff," said Troc, who enjoys the workout that shoveling provides.
Connie Lowell, trudging through the snow in Hartford, Connecticut, said she didn't mind, either.
"It's aesthetically pleasing. It's pretty," she said.
Todd Penney of Tolland, Connecticut, said digging out is fun.
"I actually get some perverse pleasure in snowblowing, just like I get some perverse pleasure in mowing my lawn on the tractor," he said. "When you have the tools that make the job easier, it's kind of like this alone time, this me time. It's kind of Zen."
SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER?
The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said Monday the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.
Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "prediction" Monday morning.
A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.
Associated Press writers Sylvia Lee Wingfield in Boston; Stephen Singer in Hartford, Connecticut; Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Connecticut; Sophia Tareen in Chicago; Scott McFetridge in Des Moines, Iowa; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska; Verena Dobnik in New York; and David N. Goodman in Detroit contributed to this report.