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15 killed as blizzard lashes US

January 25, 2005


NEW YORK, Jan 24: At least 15 people died in the aftermath of a blizzard that hit north eastern United States over the weekend, dropping over one metre of snow.

Three people were killed in each of the three states of Connecticut, Ohio and Wisconsin, two in Pennsylvania, and one each in Maryland, Iowa and Massachusetts.

Schools and colleges in most of the blizzard-hit areas remained closed as commuter trains and buses ran on scaled down schedules. Most airports in the New York and New Jersey area opened on Monday with delays and flight cancellations.

Frustrated travellers waited for transportation after a weekend in which hundreds of airline flights were cancelled. The Massachusetts Governor asked non-essential state workers in the eastern part of the state not to come to work, and the Rhode Island governor ordered the closure of all state and municipal offices. School closures were also ordered in Maine and Virginia.

The governments of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey declared a state of emergency. Two communities in Salem and Plymouth tied for the deepest snow with 95cms each, according to the Weather Service.

"The blizzard of 2005 will go down in history as one of the five top snowstorms for eastern New England," said James Wilson, a meteorologist. At one point on Sunday, 20cms of snow fell in 75 minutes in Chatham, Massachusetts. The authorities had forecast a brutal cold on Monday from the Great Lakes region down to Florida.