NY, NY (WKBW-TV)
Plenty of White Causes Traveling Blues"We can see the whole open highway in front of us and can't understand why they can't get plows in," a frustrated Carrie Eckart said this morning in a telephone interview with ABC News New York affiliate WABC, as she watched plows and emergency vehicles breeze through in the other direction.
"If New Jersey isn't closed, it should be," she added, explaining that hers was the lead car in a long line of west-bound vehicles stranded along Interstate 280.
All told, about 60 people were reportedly stranded in their cars on I-280 in West Orange overnight.
They were among the victims of a post-holiday travel nightmare as airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights and others were stranded in cars and on public transportation.
In New York City, subway passengers were stuck in snow drifts on the A train for more than six hours, WABC reported.
The Manhattan-bound train, near Kennedy Airport in Queens, carried a mix of commuters and airport travelers, according to one passenger.
"We can't move, we're stuck here and it's cold," John Hammerton said in a telephone interview with WABC.
Some passengers were in tears and others took the opportunity to sleep as they awaited word on their rescue, he said.
Meanwhile, New Jersey State Police Sgt. Steven Jones told ABC News Radio that plows are working to keep other major highways open.
"As fast as they go through, the wind is blowing it back onto the roadways, and that's pretty much the toughest part of travel right now is that wind," he said.
The winter blizzard dumped more than a foot of snow in New York City and New England, and nearly two dozen states east of the Mississippi are under severe weather warnings.
It is the same storm that brought flooding and non-stop rainfall to Southern California last week.
Back on the East Coast, two homes were destroyed by fire in coastal Scituate, Mass., this morning as flooding forced fire crews to use life rafts to rescue at least seven people, including a family of four, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB.
About 80 people were evacuated from their homes along the water.
Firefighters said they were having trouble battling the blazes because they were unable to get water hoses to the houses through the flooded streets, and high 40 mph wind gusts were creating the possibility that they could lose all the homes along that stretch of beachfront property, WCVB reported.
The storm has also dropped record snow in places such as Raleigh, N.C., (7.1 inches) and Atlanta (1.2 inches), according to the National Weather Service.
New York's Central Park has received about 17 inches and another 2 to 4 inches are still possible.
The extreme weather conditions were accompanied by thunder and lightning in Manhattan.
Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency.
New Jersey's acting governor, State Senate President Steve Sweeney, declared a state of emergency Sunday night as the state was expected to get a foot of snow by midday today.
Lyndhurst, N.J., has received a snowfall total of 29 inches.
Rhode Island and most of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, have also issued a blizzard warning, with 15 to 20 inches of snow expected.
Boston has declared a snow emergency, with another 8 to 12 inches of snow possible in addition to the 6 to 8 inches the city has already received.
Forecasters said the snow will continue to calm down in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York into the morning hours today.
Boston is expected to have snow until about noon while Portland, Maine, will see more than a foot a snow into the early and mid-afternoon.
But winds of 35 to 60 mph will continue until mid-afternoon in New York and Philadelphia, to southern New England.