PHILADELPHIA — A winter storm dumped several inches of wet, heavy snow on parts of the eastern United States yesterday, snarling air and road travel for commuters and Super Bowl fans, cutting power, and closing schools and government offices.
Fat flakes began falling during the morning commute yesterday and continued falling throughout the afternoon in Philadelphia, creating slushy sidewalks and streets. The Philadelphia and New York areas were expecting about 8 inches, erasing all memory of Sunday’s weather in 50s.
In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency with travel conditions hazardous. Nonessential government employees were dismissed early. Government offices, courts and schools closed in parts of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia; scattered power outages were reported throughout the region. As the storm moved out, the weather service reported about 8 inches of snow near Frostburg, Md., while parts of southern Ohio got about 10 inches.
By mid-afternoon, the flight-tracking website FlightAware reported more than 3,000 delayed flights and 1,700 canceled flights nationwide in cities including Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., and New York. Inbound flights to Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy airports were delayed one to three hours because of snow and ice.
For Russ Louderback, of Fishers, Ind., and his 11-year-old son Mason, the Super Bowl was a triple whammy of bad luck in less than 24 hours: Their beloved Denver Broncos lost, they got stuck in an hourslong traffic jam leaving the stadium and their 3 p.m. flight home Monday was canceled.
“It was so congested we couldn’t get out of New Jersey, even though we left early because our team lost,” said Louderback, 57, a hotel executive. He hoped to be on a plane last night.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was among the stranded travelers after her return flight to Phoenix was canceled yesterday, a spokesman said. Brewer attended the big game as part of the ceremonial handoff of hosting duties; next year’s Super Bowl is in Glendale, Ariz.