WASHINGTON -- Another giant storm dumpedstill more snow from the mid-Atlantic to New England Wednesday.
People throughout the region are facing some of the worst conditions they have ever seen.
Bracing for the Big One
A steady snow, high winds and frigid temperatures have residents from Virginia through New England bracing for near blizzard conditions..
"I have a feeling this will be a big one," New York resident Debbie Thomasino said.
It's the second big storm in a row for Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. where the snow is falling on top of the nearly three feet that fell during last weekend's blizzard. Each city needs just another nine inches of snow to mark their snowiest winters since 1884.
For hardware stores, it's another economic shot in the arm with new necessities like snow shovels selling out immediately.
"They're just gone. They're just gone," exclaimed store manager Joe Trotter. "There was a mob here at 9 o'clock and they got 200 shovels in 10 minutes.
A Monkey Wrench for Travelers
Meanwhile, the storm is paralyzing travel. With forecasters predicting heavy winds along with the snow, airlines are expected to cancel thousands of flights.
"I probably won't get a flight out until Thursday," airline traveler Susan Martin said.
In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging residents to use public transportation.
"If the storm is what it is, you're going to be struck on the roads for who knows how long," the mayor said. "I mean it's just common sense.
Driving isn't even an option for many residents in the D.C. Area. Despite around the clock efforts by snow plow crews, many side streets have yet to be touched by a plow. And many people have yet to dig out their cars from the weekend blizzard.
Snow Hampers Power Crews
Deep snow is hindering power line crews trying to restore electricity to thousands of people who've been in the dark and cold since the weekend.
Residents and business owners with flat roofs are being warned their roofs could collapse under the heavy snow.
"I've never seen accumulations like this before," plow driver Bradey Flowers said. "Everyone's gearing up for a fight."
The nation's capital remained shuttered Wednesday with 230,000 federal employees having stayed at home since Friday afternoon.
Still, there's a good chance most Americans won't notice their absence as 85 percent of federal employees work outside Washington and are keeping essential government services running.
For now, there's just one essential job in the nation's capital. Getting ready to dig out from what could be the worst snowfall in more than a century.