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Frustrations mount amid blizzard aftermath cleanup

The mayor of D.C. says the city still faces "several days" of cleanup ahead
Washington still struggling to recover from epic blizzard 02:49

The death toll from the massive blizzard that ripped through the East Coast over the weekend has climbed to 45 in 11 states and Washington D.C.

The federal government is shut down for the second day in a row after nearly two feet of snowfall over the weekend brought the nation's capital to a standstill. Schools also remain closed and the mayor says the city still faces "several days" of cleanup ahead, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave.

City leaders said they were finalizing the paperwork to apply for disaster assistance from FEMA.

D.C.'s Metro worked overtime to get almost all the commuter trains back up by Tuesday morning, but Amtrak is running with reduced service.

What's behind the differences in NYC and DC blizzard responses? 03:47

Chris Geldart, the District's director of emergency management said all the major roads in and out of D.C. have been cleared.

"Here in the District, we know our conditions and what our roadways look like, and what it's like for our residents and children out there, and we're making the best decisions we can here," Geldart said, when asked if there was anything more that could have been done.

But some streets haven't even seen a plow, even more than 48 hours after the snow stopped.

Douglas Hume moved to D.C. from North Carolina just hours after the storm hit Friday afternoon.

"You know, this is definitely the most I've ever seen, and most I've ever dealt with," Hume said. "Don't have a gym membership yet, so I guess I'm glad I'm getting a workout."

But some residents are concerned that the District's slow snow removal response could have dangerous consequences.

"If somebody needed to get up here, like an ambulance or a firetruck, God forbid, doesn't look like they're getting in here any time soon," one resident said.

Some schools are likely to reopen tomorrow, and D.C. also brought on crews from as far north as Massachusetts, as well as a giant snow melter from Indiana to help with the cleanup.

LaGuardia Airport gridlock causes major delays on NYC highway 02:34

New York City is also struggling to get back to business as hundreds of passengers were stuck and some drivers stranded for up to five hours by gridlocked traffic at LaGuardia Airport -- one of the hardest hit airports by this weekend's snowstorm.

More than 1,500 flights were cancelled since Saturday and a massive influx of passengers Monday turned the hub into a travel nightmare, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.

"This is crazy, can you believe it? I'm walking out of the airport," said one frustrated traveler.

LaGuardia Airport gridlock causes major delays on NYC highway 02:34

Lisa Mottesi's two flights from Nashville were canceled before she finally arrived back in New York City.

"People are getting out of their cars and walking through the snow. Even when the Pope came, it wasn't this bad," Mottesi said.

While most of New York City has recovered quickly from the record-breaking storm, people in Maspeth, Queens are still digging out as the city has yet to clean the area.

"This is a little ridiculous. There is three feet of snow and nobody has come," said 22-year-old Caterina Cusenxa, who has waited three days to dig her car out for work.

New York City Bill de Blasio acknowledged there's more work to be done.

"This has been obviously one of the toughest challenges this city has faced when it comes to snow," the mayor said. "If I'm living on one of those blocks, I'm going to be upset. I want to get my block cleared."

A man stands in the middle of an unplowed road in the Middle Village section of the Queens borough of New York, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Still, New York City has cleaned up much faster than D.C., although they received about the same amount of snow. Geldart said it was "totally unfair" to draw a comparison.

That's because these two cities couldn't be more different. With a population of only 659,000, the nation's capital is significantly smaller than New York, which has a population of 8.5 million. Washington also has much less cash-- a budget of $6.2 million a year for snow cleanup, which is one-twelfth of what New York can spend.

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