WASHINGTON — After pummeling wide swaths of the South, a winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of the Mid-Atlantic region as it marched Northeast and threatened more power outages, traffic headaches and widespread closures for millions of residents.
Baltimore awoke to 15 inches of snow, measured in Pimlico, the neighborhood that is home to the Preakness Stakes horse race. Snow blowers roared, breaking the quiet of downtown as they cleared city sidewalks in a sleeting rain. But every cleared strip created a potential hazard as it quickly iced over. Traffic was light, with some pedestrians taking to the middle of road.
Some streets also were nearly deserted in Washington during the normally frantic commute. As Southerners did a day earlier, many heeded warnings to stay off the roads. The sound of plastic shovels against the sidewalk rang out in some neighborhoods. Cars were capped in white, with 11 inches accumulated in parts of the city as more snow fell. People on foot trudged through the snow on sidewalks, hopping over piles built up at intersections. Federal offices and the city's two main airports were closed.
Daniel Saxinger, 38, was up early in his Washington neighborhood to clear snow off his car.
"Better do that now," he said.
Saxinger, an operations manager, said his downtown office was closed, but he had other plans for the day.
"Unfortunately today I'm going to do my taxes," he said. He recalled the 2010 snow storm that essentially shut down the city for days and said it was "a little early to tell" which was worse.
Louis Gray, 52, and a co-worker started their workday shoveling about 7 a.m. Gray, who has worked as a porter for more than 20 years, said he normally takes the bus to work, but it wasn't running, so he got a ride. He said he was ready for the storm and had been at the grocery store twice for supplies, once Monday and then again Tuesday.
He said he'd stay home after work and watch TV, then "hopefully the bus will be running again."
Though the worst of the storm has largely passed for most in the South, some parts remained a world of ice-laden trees and driveways early Thursday. Hundreds of thousands are still without power, and 13 deaths were blamed on the weather.
For the Mid-Atlantic states and Northeast, the heavy weather is the latest in an unending drumbeat of storms that have depleted salt supplies and caused schools to run out of snow days.