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Snows bring US flight cancellations

24 January 2014 08:59

A woman's umbrella is blown around during a winter snowstorm in Philadelphia (AP)

A woman's umbrella is blown around during a winter snowstorm in Philadelphia (AP)

Snowstorms have brought chaos to many parts of the US, grounding thousands of flights with further bad weather predicted.

Around 3,000 flights were scrapped on Tuesday (January 21), with airports from Washington to Boston affected.

Such freak conditions emphasise the wisdom of booking trusted travel insurance because the weather is one thing for which you cannot be sure when planning your holiday.

The storms brought nearly 18 inches (45.7cm) of snow, shutting government offices and hindering the evening commute.

They spread 1,000 miles (1,609km) between Kentucky and Massachusetts.

The densely populated corridor between Philadelphia and Boston was particularly affected, creating hazardous trips home for millions of motorists.

Manalapan, New Jersey, suffered 15.5 inches of snow, Philadelphia more than a foot (over 30cm) and Brookhaven, near Philadelphia's airport, 15 inches (38.1cm), while New York witnessed 10 inches (25.4cm), the National Weather Service reported.

The blowing snow took Americans by surprise.

A blizzard warning was issued for areas of Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, but it came down sooner and harder than expected.

Busy New York roads were blocked and the snowstorms tripled or even quadrupled journey times.

Sections of the north-eastern New England states suffered initial light snowfalls which became denser as the night progressed.

Foxboro, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island were also hit.

Weather experts claimed the storm could be followed by intense cold as Arctic air from Canada flows in.

The storm was blamed for at least one death in Maryland, that of a driver whose vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer on a snow-blanketed road 50 miles (80.4km) from Baltimore.

Police believe the weather may have claimed more lives.

The storm started off the coast and worked its way up the Eastern Seaboard, dragging in cold air from the Arctic.

This second blast of awful winter weather in the space of a fortnight is draining power supplies in many US regions and pushing prices for propane and natural gas to new highs.