WASHINGTON -- Winter squeezed the Eastern United States on Monday, bringing snow and promising days of frigid temperatures in the region where too many unwanted, icy records have already been set.
Snow began falling in the mid-Atlantic region and the federal government took a snow day -- again. Nasty winds were blowing up the Eastern states and officials warned of hazardous driving conditions.
“A late-season winter storm will continue to shift eastward through the Tennessee Valley and the mid-Atlantic today, making for hazardous travel conditions,” the National Weather Service warned. “Unseasonably cold temperatures more typical of January will prevail east of the Rocky Mountains for the next few days, keeping winter around for a while longer.”
As much as 10 inches of snow could fall by day’s end in the Washington area with parts of Maryland expected to bear the brunt. The area north of Philadelphia was expected to get around six inches while parts of New Jersey were expected to receive a foot of snow. Emergencies were declared in Virginia, Tennessee and New Jersey.
School was canceled, bus service was halted in places and federal workers in the Washington area were told to stay home Monday. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate postponed votes and many congressional committees postponed hearings because of the snow. But the Supreme Court was operating.
Despite consistent snowfall and wind, the streets were not empty early Monday morning. While traffic was cut back, several cars slowly made their way through the streets and pedestrians roamed the sidewalks near George Washington University, where classes are canceled.
Tim Duckrey, who was shoveling snow off a stoop at George Washington University, said the storms this year have been consistent in their intensity, calling it “the worst winter” since he began working there in 2006.
With bus service shut down, Mary Williams' roommate had to drop her off at a Metro station so she could take the subway to work in Pentagon City.
“I'm from Georgia so I'm not used to the snow,” said Williams, who moved to the district seven months ago.
Apart from a few intrepid runners, including one man jogging with his dog, the streets were far more empty down by the U.S. Capitol.
Randy Eckels, who is in the district for a School Nutrition Assn. conference, decided to take advantage of the “beautiful day” and “no traffic” to go for a run by the Capitol and a snow-covered National Mall.
Most others, though, are opting to stay inside.
Rhea Williams, a student at Prince George's Community College, was spending the morning running errands with her sister. But with a day off from school, she plans to “go home and watch Netflix” later.
With several storms this season, many felt this winter ranked as one of the worst in years.
“It makes the winter feel too long,” said Jean Garner while on her morning commute.
More than 2,300 flights had been canceled by Monday morning. The hardest hit airports were in Washington and northward to New York.
Staff writers Lisa Mascaro and David Savage contributed to this report from Washington.