Snow storm blankets Northeast, travel disrupted for trains, planes and cars

The storm systems that dumped snow up and down the East Coast over the Christmas weekend provided a different experience for everyone.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010; 9:16 AM

Snow buffeted the Northeast on Sunday, disrupting holiday travel and stranding thousands. As Deepti Hajela and Meghan Barr reported:

Thousands of travelers trying to get home after the holiday weekend sat bored and bleary-eyed in airports and shivered aboard stuck buses and subway trains Monday, stranded by a blizzard that slammed the Northeast with more than two feet of show.

Some airline passengers could be stuck for days. Many planes are booked solid because of the busy holiday season, and airlines are operating fewer flights because of the economic downturn.

Cold, hungry and tired passengers spent the night in airports, train stations and bus depots. Some were given cots and blankets. Others used their luggage as pillows or made beds by curling into chairs, spreading towels on the floor or overturning the plastic bins used for sending items through airport security.

Residents of Washington D.C. expected similar snows to those in New Jersey and New York, but were largely bypassed by the storm system, as the Capital Weather Gang reported:

The powerful nor'easter that largely bypassed Washington, D.C. delivered one of the most punishing blows in years to many coastal locations from southeastern Virginia and Maryland to coastal New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Atlantic City, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston all received a foot or more of snow (see list of East Coast snow totals).

Snowfall amounts were most impressive in parts of New Jersey, where a persistent band of very heavy snow set up late Sunday afternoon and barely budged for much of the night. The result: around two feet in many parts of the "Garden State."

In one example of the harsh conditions endured by travelers trapped by the snow, AP reported the story of over 400 passengers who were stuck in a subway car in freezing temperatures for over eight hours:

It took hours for Christopher Mullen to get off a plane from sunny Cancun and on to a half-empty subway car, his only way home. It would be another eight hours and more - a night spent huddled under a thin blanket on the frigid, grungy car - before he could get off the A train.

His feet soaked to the bone, with no food, water and hardly any heat, Mullen and 400 others lived through a New York nightmare on an elevated subway track, one of hundreds of stories of hardship caused by the crushing snowstorm that dropped more than 2 feet of snow on the Northeast.

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