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Mid-Atlantic Residents Slowly Dig Out After Massive Snowstorm


People along the East Coast spent today trying to get out from under this weekend's massive snowfall. There are signs that in some areas things are slowly returning to normal. But as NPR's Pam Fessler reports, many people could be snowed in for days.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Government offices and schools were closed all around Washington, D.C., and streets were still clogged with snow. But caterer Frederico Barahona was among the many workers who ventured out anyway. At midmorning, he was at a D.C. Metro station trying to get across town for a lunchtime wedding.

FREDERICO BARAHONA: Which has been canceled from Saturday, changed it to Sunday. It got canceled on Sunday again, so hopefully, it will happen today.

FESSLER: Barahona said the trip normally takes 45 minutes. Today, after two hours, he was still traveling. At nearby Union Station, flight attendant Ann Silano also said she needed to get to work. She was planning to go by rail.

ANN SILANO: We have to get to New York today to work a flight tonight to Tel Aviv. And all the flights are canceling or very delayed, so we opted to take the train so we could be guaranteed getting up there.

FESSLER: She was hoping her flight wouldn't be canceled when she got there, as thousands have been over the past two days. Still, things were getting back on track. Officials in Washington, Baltimore and New York reported that most major roadways had been reopened, although they said they could be cleaning up side streets for days.

There was also a lot of cleaning up along the New Jersey coast, where the blizzard caused widespread flooding. In North Wildwood, employees and volunteers were helping Karl Belfonti after the first floor of his gym was filled with about a foot of water.

KARL BELFONTI: And so, as a result of that, we are cleaning all the mats, moving all the equipment, sanitizing it, putting it back down and then moving the equipment back to its original place.

FESSLER: Cleanup also continued in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had a great opportunity for those looking for work - $13.50 an hour to help shovel out bus stops and sidewalks.

Pam Fessler, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues.
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