The two-day blizzard that crippled the East with record snowfalls headed out over the Atlantic Tuesday, and from the Carolinas to Maine millions of Americans began digging out and taking stock of storm damage.
Nearly 100 people died in the storm, most them victims of automobile accidents or heart attacks that struck as snow was shoveled.
Although some buried cities stirred Tuesday after being brought to a standstill by the blizzard, the recovery was slow. Airlines struggled to clear a backlog of thousands of stranded passengers, many city halls and schools from Maryland to Massachusetts remained closed and the federal government in snow-clogged Washington was shut down for the second day.
Many snowfalls have caused greater damage and casualties - a blizzard in 1888 killed 400 people in New York alone - but what made this storm so unusual was the length and breadth of its attack, which spared hardly a city between Atlanta and Bangor, Maine. In all, 17 states that are home to 103 million Americans were affected.
Airports in Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and New York reopened on a limited basis Tuesday, a day after more than 2,000 flights in the East were canceled. But airline officials said it would take several days before the backlog of passengers was cleared and schedules were back to normal.
More than 3,000 travelers trying to go to the East Coast were stranded in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport alone.