Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

North American blizzard kills 14

Riley Clark, left, and her sister Mckenzie play on top of a pile of snow as the street is cleared (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Riley Clark, left, and her sister Mckenzie play on top of a pile of snow as the street is cleared (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Worker Scotty Black treks through thigh deep snow while trying to find the source of an electricity black-out (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A City of Boston snow machine operator informs a couple they will need to shovel their car out all after he clears the snow (AP)

Fourteen people have died and about 345,000 homes and businesses were left without power as the US north-east and Canada were hit by a blizzard that dumped up to 3ft of snow on the most densely populated part of the region.

Some motorists had to be rescued after spending hours stuck in wet, heavy snow. Utilities in some hard-hit New England states predicted that the storm could leave some customers in the dark until Monday at least.

"We've never seen anything like this," said county official Steven Bellone of New York's Long Island, where hundreds of drivers had been caught on highways by Friday's fast-moving storm.

Local police said all known abandoned cars have been searched, and no-one needing medical help was found.

At least 11 deaths in the US and three in Canada were blamed on the snowstorm, including that of an 11-year-old boy in Boston who was overcome by carbon monoxide as he sat in a car left running to keep warm while his father shovelled snow on Saturday.

Roads were rendered impassable, and cars were entombed by snow drifts. Some people could not open the doors of their homes.

Blowing with hurricane-force winds, the storm hit hard along the heavily populated corridor between New York City and Maine.

New York City's three major airports - LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, New Jersey - were up and running by late Saturday morning after shutting down the evening before. Boston's Logan Airport resumed operations late on Saturday night. Most of the power outages took in Massachusetts.

At New York's Fashion Week, women tottered on 4in heels through the snow to get to the tents to see designers' newest collections.

In Massachusetts, the National Guard and Worcester emergency workers teamed up to deliver a baby at the height of the storm at the family's home. Mother and baby were fine.

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