Ice storms and blizzards cause traffic chaos as 500-mile stretch of North East is hit again

Ice storms and snow blizzards have brought misery and travel chaos to the entire North East coast of America.

Along a 500-mile stretch from Delaware to Maine, freezing temperatures and up to ten inches of snow turned streets into rivers of slush and made thousands of roads impassable.

Dozens of schools were forced to shut down for the day and at least 500 flights out of major airports were cancelled or delayed by the deep freeze.

The National Weather Service advised travel only when necessary amid ‘treacherous’ conditions.


Travel chaos... again: Traffic slows to a crawl - and stretches off into the hazy distance - near the intersection of Interstate 95 in Canton, Massachusetts, as a mixture of snow, sleet and rain cause trecherous conditions


Follow the leader: Only a week after a major storm dumped more than two feet of snow on areas of the Northeast, motorists were stuck behind the snow plough again

+A travel warning on its website said that up to half an inch of ice was due to fall on the ground, adding another deadly layer to the dangerous mixture of snow and water that was already there.

The NWS said the appalling conditions were being caused by low pressure off the mid Atlantic coast that is moving northeast and intensifying as it heads up the Eastern seaboard.

It is due to move further north and clear the U.S. by the beginning of Thursday.

A winter weather storm warning was in place for most of the area, stretching from Delaware to the north of Maine, with a less serious winter weather advisory for surrounding states stretching as far West as central Pennsylvania.


Thanks for the warning: A highway caution sign is a case of too little, too late for many motorists stuck by the fresh snowfalls. Hundreds of flights out of major airports were also affected

New Hampshire was expected to see the heaviest snow of up to 10 inches but temperatures in all the areas affected were not expected to rise beyond freezing all day.

By this morning in New York the storm had already turned sidewalks into giant ice rinks, with huge piles of slush building up at street corners.

Cars passing by intersections threw up chunks of slush onto anyone standing too close to the street.


Clearing the way: A lone shoveller clears a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain from the walkway of an apartment complex in Brooklyn

New York and New Jersey Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said that by the morning 352 flights at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey had been cancelled, including all those flown by Continental.

Dozens of flights at Washington’s Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport were cancelled and a few were delayed.

At Philadelphia airport 115 passengers became stranded overnight because of the disruption.

Speed limits were lowered on hundreds of roads across the North East to reduce the likelihood of an accident and keep traffic moving steadily.

Metro-North Railroad, which serves commuters from Connecticut into New York City, reported up to 40-minute delays on some lines.

There were also delays reported in commuter rail service and bus services as far south as Philadelphia.

NWS metrologist John Murray warned that the storm could cause even more long-term damage.

He said: ‘The combined weight of snow and ice could bring down power lines and makes travel treacherous.'

But he added: ‘If the temperatures go above freezing and the roads are treated, conditions will temporarily improve.’

The bad weather is the latest serious storm to hit the North East Coast this winter. The most serious struck after Christmas when 20 inches of snow landed on New York City, resulting in widespread travel chaos and severe criticism of the city’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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