New Yorkers have fun with blizzard in winter wonderland

January 25, 2016 08:32
A man clears away snow in his front yard. The blizzard dumped up to 26 inches of snow in New York and Washington D.C. Photo: Reuters

New Yorkers and Washingtonians are digging themselves out of a deep freeze after a massive snowstorm crippled the East Coast but there has been more cheer than misery to go around.

After being hunkered down for a day when the blizzard dumped up to 26 inches of snow, New Yorkers and Washingtonians surged back into the streets on Sunday, bringing a festive mood to both cities. 

Midtown Manhattan came back to life as residents and tourists rejoiced in the warming sunlight, digging out buried cars, heading to Broadway shows and frolicking in massive drifts left by New York City's second-biggest snowstorm in history, Reuters reports.

In the suburbs, some made snow castles and snowmen as children and grownups pelted each other with snow.

In Washington, where a traffic ban was still in effect, the recovery got off to a slower start, with the entire transit system closed through Sunday.

Federal government offices in the Washington area will be closed on Monday, the Office of Personnel Management said.

Even so, many people were out in the street.

Some skied and snowboarded down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial until security officials moved them on.

The entire region seemed to breathe a sigh of relief after the historic storm that left at least 20 dead in several states, even as transit systems in Washington and New York were still working on restoring full service in time for the Monday morning rush.

"For us, snow is like a normal winter," said Viola Rogacka, 21, a fashion model from Poland, walking with a friend through New York's Times Square.

"It's how it should look like."

Theater shows reopened on Broadway after the blizzard forced them to go dark on Saturday on the recommendation of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"We still have some areas that we have to do a lot more work on. But we've come through it pretty well," de Blasio said on ABC's This Week.

"I think tomorrow is going to be pretty good. We think we'll be broadly up and running again at the city tomorrow."

The blizzard was the second biggest snowstorm in New York City history, with 26.8 inches of snow in Central Park by midnight on Saturday, just shy of the record 26.9 inches set in 2006, the National Weather Service said.

Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia on Saturday.

One person died in Maryland and three in New York while shoveling snow. Two died of hypothermia in Virginia, and one from carbon monoxide poisoning in Pennsylvania, officials said.

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