WASHINGTON - St. Patrick's Day is traditionally associated with the color green. But for much of the country, another color has trumped shamrock green: white.
Millions along the East Coast and mid-Atlantic are digging out Monday from another snow storm, with winter's latest punch forcing the federal government, schools, and offices to shut down.
"It felt like the middle of spring yesterday... and now? It's freezing," one person said. "If you had told me two days ago that it was going to be snowing right now I would have told you that you're crazy."
In the nation's capital, Reagan National Airport closed runways due to drifting snow, leaving about 300 flights grounded. A state of emergency has been declared as 200 plow trucks are feverishly working to get the roads cleared.
By the afternoon, it appeared they still had their work cut out for them, with overall snow totals for the day topping 10 inches in some places.
While snow covered much of the Northeast, the Southeast was hit with heavy rains. There were even reports of tornadoes. Near the Florida-Alabama state line, the storm ripped off the roof of a shopping center.
"It was very scary," one resident said. "I was shaking. I felt like I had to get to the back."
For many, it's hard to believe the official start to spring is just days away.
"You start to switch over your closet, and then you've got to pull the boots back out," East Coast resident Tara Rowan said. "Tease is a perfect word for it."