WASHINGTON, D.C.: The northeastern United States (US) shivered amid heavy snowfall and far below average temperatures on Wednesday in a storm that grounded thousands of flights and triggered traffic chaos.
The nasty weather with its bone-chilling gusts and heavy snow stretched from Washington to New England. The Midwest was hit hard, too.
Taking into account the wind chill factor, the temperature in Chicago plummeted to minus 20 Fahrenheit (-28 Celsius), the Chicago Tribune said.
In the nation’s largest city, the Tuesday evening commute home in New York was a mess and the city was expected to get as many as 14 inches (35 cm) of snow by Wednesday morning.
“It’s horrible. Snow is cute for only a little bit,” Mary Catherine Hughes, standing by a subway stop with an umbrella rendered useless in fierce wind, told The New York Times.
The city’s new mayor Bill de Blasio urged people to stay home say road crews could clear streets.
Downtown Washington fell eerily silent after the federal government, seeing the swift-moving storm approaching, closed its doors and told civil servants—who already had the day off Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday—to stay home on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, federal agencies were to open two hours late. Employees could also take unscheduled leave, and those that can were allowed to work from home.