|After Blizzard, Northeast Begins to Dig Out|
|By GILLIAN MOHNEY (@gillianmohney)||Feb 9, 2013, 1:39 PM|
The Northeast began the arduous process of cleaning up after a fierce storm swept through the region leaving behind up to three feet of snow in some areas.
By early this morning, 650,000 homes and businesses were without power and at least 10 deaths were being blamed on the storm: five in Connecticut, two in New York, two in Massachusetts and one in Maine.
The storm dumped snow from New Jersey to Maine, affecting more than 25 million people, with more than two feet falling in areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. The Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery today in New England.
As the storm waned, officials in the hardest hit areas cautioned residents to remain indoors and off the roads to ease the clean-up.
Massachusetts was hard hit by the storm, with more than two feet of snow in Boston and even more in coastal areas. State police and national guard troops helped rescue more than 50 stranded motorists and even helped deliver a baby girl, according to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Patrick enacted the first statewide driving ban since the 1978 blizzard, which left 27 inches of snow and killed dozens. The ban was to be lifted at 4 p.m. today, the governor said.
However, Patrick cautioned residents to act with extreme caution even after the ban is over.
"Stay inside and be patient," Patrick said.
In Massachusetts a boy reportedly died of carbon monoxide poisoning as he helped his father shovel snow on Saturday, according to ABCNews.com affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston.
For residents along the coast, the waning snowfall didn't mean the end of the storm. Storm surges along the Massachusetts coastline forced some residents out of their homes Saturday morning.
"We've got 20-foot waves crashing and flooding some homes," Bob Connors on Plum Island told WCVB. "We have power and heat and all that. We just have a very angry ocean. In my 33 years, I've never seen the seas this high."
In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy declared a state of emergency and closed all roads in the state. The state police responded to more than 1,600 calls over the last 24 hours and the governor called up an additional 270 National Guard members.
"If you're not an emergency personnel that's required to be somewhere, stay home," Malloy said.
Overnight, snow fell at a rate of up to five to six inches per hour in parts of Connecticut. In Milford, more than 38 inches of snow had fallen by this morning.
In Fairfield, Conn. firefighters and police officers on the day shift were unable to make it to work, so the overnight shift remained on duty.
The wind and snow started affecting the region during the Friday night commute.
In Cumberland, Maine, the conditions led to a 19-car pile-up and in New York, hundreds of commuters were stranded on the snowy Long Island Expressway. Police and firefighters were still working to free motorists early this morning.
"The biggest problem that we're having is that people are not staying on the main portion or the middle section of the roadway and veering to the shoulders, which are not plowed," said Lt. Daniel Meyer from the Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol.
In New York, authorities are digging out hundreds of cars that got stuck overnight on the Long Island Expressway.
Bob Griffith of Syosset, N.Y., said he tried leave early to escape the storm, but instead ended up stuck in the snow by the side of the road.
"I tried to play it smart in that I started early in the day, when it was raining," said Griffith. "But the weather beat us to the punch."
Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said the snow had wreaked havoc on the roadways.
"I saw state plows stuck on the side of the road. I've never seen anything like this before," Bellone said.
However, some New York residents, who survived the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, were rattled by having to face another large and potentially dangerous storm system with hurricane force winds and flooding.
"How many storms of the century can you have in six months?" said Larry Racioppo, a resident of the hard hit Rockaway neighborhood in Queens, New York.
In New York, a little more than 11 inches fell in the city.
By this morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said nearly all of the primary roads had been plowed and the department of sanitation anticipated that all roads would be plowed by the end of the day.
"It looks like we dodged a bullet, but keep in mind winter is not over," said Bloomberg.
Storm Disrupts Travel
The blizzard caused airlines to cancel 5,368 flights this week, with about 1,756 flights canclled so far today.
New York's John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports resumed service Saturday morning.
Flights from Newark Liberty International Airport were not expected to fully resume until the noon due to runways that had to be shut down overnight as a result of heavy snow.Logan airport in Boston was expected to reopen Saturday night.
Amtrak canceled service on its New York-Boston Service line today as crews clear tracks of snow and downed trees. However, Amtrak was running service between New York and Washington, D.C.
At New York's Penn station, stranded travelers banded together as they waited for train service to be reinstated.
"We all met when we were getting off the train, when we realized we're not going any further because all the trains have been canceled," said Donna Stash. "We've been hanging out together in the waiting room. Keeping an eye out on each other."
ABC News Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.