'Oh, not again': Northeast is hit by another storm

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm •  Published: February 13, 2014
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In North Carolina, where the storm caused huge traffic jams in the Raleigh area on Wednesday as people left work and rushed to get home in the middle of the day, National Guardsmen in high-riding Humvees patrolled the snowy roads, looking for any stranded motorists.

Some roads around Raleigh remained clogged with abandoned vehicles Thursday morning. City crews worked to tow them to safe areas where their owners could recover them.

The storm didn't leave animals alone, either. In Maryland, Prince George's County fire officials said a horse that had slipped inside a snowy barn and gotten stuck on its side was euthanized after failing to show signs of improvement.

Around the country, this is shaping up as one of the snowiest winters on record. As of early this month, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and St. Louis had gotten roughly two or three times as much snow as they normally receive at this point in the season.

The procession of storms and cold blasts — blamed in part on a kink in the jet stream, the high-altitude air currents that dictate weather — has cut into retail sales across the U.S., the Department of Commerce said. Sales dipped 0.4 percent in January.

This latest round of bad weather threatens to disrupt deliveries of flowers for Valentine's Day on Friday.

"It's a godawful thing," said Mike Flood, owner of Falls Church Florist in Virginia. "We're going to lose money. There's no doubt about it."

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was virtually silent, with all flights canceled. Travelers tried to catch some sleep in the terminals.

Rob Wolcott, of Washington, and his wife were trying to reach the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, where he was planning to officiate at a friend's wedding on Saturday.

The future bride and groom are "a little stressed," Wolcott said. "But they'll figure something out. They will still get married, whether or not I am the one to do the actual officiating."

On the National Mall in Washington, 8-year-old Lucas Moore was having fun with his father and thinking about how all the snow days he has had this year may come back to haunt him.

"If they do cut into summer, I'm going to be, like, really mad and trying not to go to school," he said. "When it's summer, play time."

In New York City, the teachers union and TV weatherman Al Roker harshly criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to keep schools open. Roker, who was in Russia for the Winter Olympics but has a daughter in New York's public schools, said on Twitter: "It's going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed."

The mayor said many parents depend on schools to watch over their children while they are at work.

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Associated Press writers Kevin Begos in Pittsburgh; Michael Rubinkam in Berks County, Pa.; Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia; Sarah Brumfield and Brett Zongker in Washington; Matthew Barakat in Falls Church, Va.; and David Dishneau in Frederick, Md.; contributed to this report.