March Roars In With Brutal Snowstorm

From widespread power outages in the South to deadly car accidents in the Northeast and record snowfall in between, the massive nor'easter that is beating down on the Eastern Seaboard is slated to be the biggest of the season, according to forecasters.

"This is like a classic winter storm," National Weather Service meteorologist Ross Dickman said from his post on New York's Long Island. "We haven't had a significant storm like this in a little bit of time."

Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights across the country because of the snow amounts. In Boston, 120 flights were canceled along with 150 in Newark, N.J., and 190 at New York's two airports.

VIDEO: Winter snow storm

Hank Price, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told today that high winds expected across the Northeast later today would create a whole new set of snags, most in the form of delays as airports ordered more spacing between planes and extra time to clear off the runways.

Several major airlines, including American, Delta and Continental, reported that they would waive travel fees during the next few days for passengers whose flights had been canceled by the storm.

National Weather Service John Guiney told that while a portion of New England may see this type of storm once or twice a season, it has been particularly hard hitting for the southern states.

In South Carolina, traffic was moving again after the snow and ice caused traffic accidents that closed Interstate 85 for 10 hours, creating 30 miles of gridlock. Drivers were left stranded overnight without food, water and, when the gas in their cars ran out, heat.

And in Virginia, 140 passengers on an Amtrak train bound for Newport News were stuck sitting on the tracks overnight as problems with railroad switches prevented the train from continuing and fallen trees kept it from returning to Washington, D.C., according to media reports.

Mount Mitchell, N.C., northeast of Charlotte, recorded 16 inches of snow.

"I think that may be the highest I've seen thus far," Guiney said.

Elsewhere in the South, Saluda, N.C., reported 12.3 inches while Kings Mountain, N.C., was right behind with nine inches, according to

"Generally speaking, they don't' see this type of snowfall," Guiney said.

Rare School Closing in NYC

The heaviest snowfall totals in the Northeast so far include 14.7 inches in Old Saybrook, Conn., and 13 inches in Mount Sinai, N.Y., according to the National Weather Service.

The roads and highways have been clogged with at least four fatal car accidents in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including crashes that killed a 25-year-old pregnant woman and a 65-year-old man near Boston.

In New York City, schools closed today for the first time in five years, giving about 1 million children the day off. Central Park was expected to get up to a foot of snow from the storm, well below the one-day record of 25 inches set on Christmas Day in 1947. The record for March 2 was 10 inches in Central Park.

As of 7 a.m. the park had seven inches of snow.

"It's the first of March, which, as you know, is the month that we say comes in like a lion and out like a lamb," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday. "It's pretty clear that the lions are getting ready to roar."

The city had 130,000 tons of rock salt and about 4,500 workers ready to clean up the mess.

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