By Arun Kumar
Washington, Feb 9 (IANS) Still recovering from the "historic mess" left from the weekend's record blizzard, Washingtonians Tuesday braced for a second wallop that could pile up 10 to 20 more inches of snow in the national capital region. About 80,000 people across the US were without power Saturday.
As the mid-Atlantic region continued digging out Monday, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning, with predictions of another 10 to 20 inches of snow for the area beginning Tuesday afternoon and continuing through Wednesday.
"A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow are expected or occurring," said the statement from the weather service facility in Sterling, Virginia. "The combination of snow and strong winds will make travel very hazardous."
The new storm expected to hit other big cities along the East Coast, including Baltimore and Philadelphia, and extending into New Jersey and New York, would be the third major snowfall to hit the region in just over seven weeks.
In last weekend's blizzard, a record 32.4 inches of snow fell on Washington's Dulles International Airport over two days, breaking a Jan 7-8, 1996, record of 23.2 inches, according to CNN.
With another storm looming large, Federal government agencies in the capital region except emergency services will remain closed for a second day Tuesday. Many schools and businesses in the region too would remain shut.
Bus service on Monday was limited to just a small number of routes in the Washington, DC area and the region's metro trains only to the underground portion of the system.
Crews worked around the clock to clear roads and repair power lines, warning that it might take days to restore electricity to some customers from Pennsylvania to Virginia.
Many residents who spent the weekend gleefully making snowmen and hurling snowballs grumbled at the prospect of more snow as they painfully shovelled hip-high snow from parking lots and driveways. Residents in many areas trudged along slushy roads to replenish supplies as the prospects of staying cooped up at home for several days loomed large.
Washington's Dulles International Airport reopened to limited service Sunday but asked travellers not to arrive at the airport without confirmed flights.
Amtrak said it cancelled several trains Sunday after downed trees and power lines fell on its tracks. Dozens of Greyhound routes in Middle Atlantic States also were cancelled, the company said on its website.