NATION : Snow Hits Seattle, East Coast

<i> From Times wire services </i>

Snow and freezing rain turned city streets into a giant skating rink from New York to Washington today, and a blizzard dumped 18 inches of snow on Idaho’s mountains, slashed visibility to half a car length and triggered avalanche warnings. The Seattle area was hit by a rare 4-inch snowfall.

Gusty 25 m.p.h. winds blew new snow off rooftops and iced over streets in New York City. Taxis and cars skidded into one another, denting fenders and tying up traffic across mid-town Manhattan during the morning rush hour. The National Zoo in Washington was closed for the day as up to 5 inches of heavy, wet snow fell.