East Coast Digs Out from Storm for Record Books

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WASHINGTON -- The second blizzard to blow through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast is now off shore, but the record-breaking storm left an incredibly powdery mess behind.

After braving the blizzard, residents in seven states from Virginia to New York were beginning to dig out on Thursday.

Snow, Snow and More Snow

It's a giant task as heavy snow, combined with strong winds that blew Wednesday forced Maryland officials to order snow plows off the roads until visibility improved.

In Pennsylvania, several interstates were closed and motorists were stranded. And on a snowy Interstate 80 two multi-car pileups left one man dead and 18 people injured.

Crews now urge residents to be patient as they work to clear hundreds of miles of snow-covered roads.

"We just want them, residents, please be patient with us, please be patient with our snow removal efforts," said Adrienne Barnes of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.

Air Travelers Patience Wearing Thin

However, patience may soon wear thin at airports. The storm forced airlines to cancel nearly 6,000 flights leaving 400,000 passengers waiting to re-book.

"They said the next available flight for me to leave is the 16th, which is next Tuesday," said one stranded traveler.

When the storm lifted more than 100,000 were left battling the cold without power.

Government Offices Still Closed

Meanwhile, federal government offices remain shut down. It's the fourth straight day government workers have stayed home at a cost of $400 million in lost productivity.

Politics, however, did not take the day off.

Tackling the controversy over global warming Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., posted pictures on Facebook of an igloo his family constructed with a cardboard sign that read, "Al Gore's New Home."

There was also plenty of time to play. New York's Central Park transformed into a winter wonderland perfect for cross country skiing. And school children in most of the snowy states welcomed another day off.

"Yay, we're not going to school!" exclaimed one elated little one.

As crews clear roadways they're left with no choice but to pile up on existing mounds of snow, creating towering frozen walls in some parts of the nation's capital.

Meanwhile, forecasters are predicting another storm could bring more snow to the area from Washington, D.C. to New York City on Monday.

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.