Northeast Digs Out

A commuter steps over the snow on 6th Avenue 13 February 2006, the morning after a major storm slammed the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states dumping a record 26.9 inches (68.3cm) of snow in Central Park, the heaviest since record-keeping was started in 1869. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Getty Images/Timothy A. Clary
Road crews scrambled to clear streets, and travelers stranded at airports tried to get home Monday as the Northeast dug out from a record-breaking storm that dumped two feet or more of snow across the region.

Hundreds of schools canceled Monday classes from West Virginia to Massachusetts. Utility crews worked to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses blacked out when wind gusting to 50 mph knocked down power lines.

The storm blanketed the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Maine over the weekend, dropping 26.9 inches of snow in Central Park — the heaviest snowfall since record keeping began in 1869. The old record was 26.4 inches in December 1947, the National Weather Service said.

While the storm was bad, it would have been worse on a weekday.

"The headache has been minimized because it happened on a Sunday," Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Maloit said. "It was good timing for a storm of this magnitude."

Fairfield, Conn., got 30.2 inches of snow and Rahway, N.J., had 27 inches, according to unofficial observations reported to the weather service. Just west of Philadelphia, 21 inches of snow was recorded in West Caln Township; the average snowfall for an entire winter in Philadelphia is about 21 inches.

"Boston was a virtual ghost town with the exception of an occasional snow plow and a few people out for a stroll," reports Dan Rea of CBS station WBZ-TV. The city was slammed with 17.5 inches of snow.

On Massachusetts' North Shore, Salem measured 18 inches, and some areas of the state had 3-foot drifts.

Children were thrilled to dig out their sleds, little-used this winter until now.

"We're hoping for 365 days off from school," said 9-year-old Reagan Manz, playing in Central Park with friends. "We could go sledding the whole time and not get bored."

Philadelphia public and parochial classes were canceled Monday, as were schools throughout central and northeast Maryland. New York City public schools were open, although some in Long Island and private schools were closed.

A Turkish Airlines flight skidded off a runway at Kennedy as it landed Sunday at 9:20 p.m., but none of the 198 passengers was injured, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.