East Coast Blizzard: Ice Danger on Roads as Cities Dig Out from Snow

Millions of Americans faced a slow and slippery return to work Monday as the Eastern Seaboard dug out from a record-setting blizzard that killed at least 30 people and paralyzed travel.

Transit systems and airports were recovering from a weekend of paralysis, but forecasters warned that refreezing of melting snow could make roads slick and dangerous during the morning commute.

Non-essential federal workers were ordered to stay home in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia as officials encouraged residents to stay off the roads and allow the blizzard cleanup effort to continue.

A woman shovels a sidewalk in blizzard-like conditions on January 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Northeast and parts of the South are experiencing heavy snow and ice from a slow moving winter storm. Multiple deaths from traffic accidents have already been reported as the storm makes its way up the coast.
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A woman shovels a sidewalk in blizzard-like conditions on January 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Northeast and parts of the South are experiencing heavy snow and ice from a slow moving winter storm. Multiple deaths from traffic accidents have already been reported as the storm makes its way up the coast.

The storm dropped snow from the Gulf Coast to New England and was the second-biggest in New York City history, with 26.8 inches measured in Central Park by midnight Saturday — just shy of the record 26.9 inches set in 2006, the National Weather Service said.

Worst-hit was the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, with 42 inches recorded at Glengarry and 40.5 inches in Shepherdstown.

In many areas, temperatures rose above freezing Sunday — melting some snow, but creating a new hazard of black ice.

"Melting and refreezing will be the theme of this week," NBC Connecticut meteorologist Tyler Jankoski said. "Use caution and watch for black ice in the mornings."

Many roads were suffering from severe choke points where snow piles are blocking traffic lanes, NBC New York reported.

In Pennsylvania, an 8-months pregnant teen was among those who died shoveling snow over the weekend, her family said, while a man who tried to dig out his car in Muhlenberg Township was buried by a snowplow.

In the New York suburb of Passaic, a woman and her one-year-old son died of carbon monoxide poisoning while waiting in their car as their husband cleared the drive. Their three-year-old daughter was still in critical condition, police said.

Airports were slowly returning to normal but at least 1,500 flight cancelations were already listed for Monday as of 7.30 a.m. ET, according to FlightAware. Newark, La Guardia, Washington Dulles and Reagan National were the worst-hit, it said.

United Airlines said it was bringing workers from Chicago and Houston to help clear a backlog of stranded passengers at its hub at Newark, and at Washington Dulles where 30 inches of snow fell.

Amtrak said it would run a "modified" service on the Northeast corridor Monday, while the D.C. metro system

.

New York's transit authority said almost all services would be running in time for the morning commute, including nearly 80 percent of the Long Island Rail Road.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the suspension of alternate side parking until Feb. 1 to encourage drivers to keep cars parked, while cars parked adjacent to schools were also allowed to remain in place.

The city also appealed for emergency snow laborers to remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks and fire hydrants, starting at $13.50 per hour. "This was one of the worst storms to ever hit New York City, and we need all hands on deck to dig us out," de Blasio said.

Delaware lifted its state of emergency at midnight. In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the costs of cleaning up the snowstorm would run $2 million - $3 million per hour, easily making it the most expensive snow event in the state's history.

"Please stay of the roads," McAuliffe said. "Give us the time to do what we need to do."

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