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Snow Closes Federal Offices, Disrupts Flights on East Coast

March 6, 2013

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Light snow mixed with rain fell in Washington, where federal offices were closed and more than 1,000 flights scratched, as the city braced for a winter storm that dumped more than 9 inches of snow on Chicago.

Washington and Baltimore may get 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of snow before the storm lets up tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia. New York may see 4 inches or more and 6 to 10 inches may fall in the Boston area. The system has already left as much as 12 inches on the mountains of Virginia, the agency said.

"The D.C., Baltimore, even Philadelphia corridor, I think it goes back and forth today between the rain and the snow all day," said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. "For most of the day in those cities, the roads are fine. Maybe later today and the early part of tonight there will be some road issues."

Federal offices in Washington were closed because of the storm, according to the Office of Personnel Management website.

As of 11:30 a.m. East Coast time, 1,932 flights had been canceled around the U.S., 617 of them to or from Washington’s Reagan National Airport, where US Airways Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. are the biggest carriers. A total of 520 flights were scrubbed at Dulles International, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based tracking service. United Continental Holdings Inc. accounts for half of all passengers there.


Airport Delays


Flights bound for Newark Liberty International in New Jersey and New York’s LaGuardia and Kennedy airports were being delayed at their departure points to ease congestion, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Flights were backed up three hours at Philadelphia International.

The storm has contributed to 3,600 cancellations across the U.S. since March 4, FlightAware said. More than 1,000 flights were scrubbed at Chicago’s two major airports yesterday as the Midwest was hit with its third major snowstorm in as many weeks.

About 186,000 utility customers were without power at 11:45 a.m. Eastern time in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning until 3 a.m. tomorrow for Washington and Baltimore. To the west, along the Interstate 81 corridor in Virginia and Maryland, 10 to 15 inches of snow are possible with some places getting as much as 20 inches.

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