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US Communities Clean Up After Major Snow Storm



Clean-up efforts continue in the eastern United States after a major winter storm left recording-setting snowfall and coastal flooding.

But more than 2 ½ days since the snow stopped falling, life for many people is still far from normal.

New York City reopened schools and government buildings on Monday. The city’s public transportation system is nearly back to normal service.

But farther south, the situation is different. In Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., schools remained closed on Tuesday and mass transit was running at reduced levels. In Washington, most federal government offices stayed closed.

All three cities were hit by heavy snowfall -- two-thirds of a meter or more in many areas. The storm is officially called Winter Storm Jonas. But Washington Post readers chose another name -- “Snowzilla.”

“Considering this was a tenth of an inch (0.254 centimeters) away from being the all-time largest snowfall in the history of New York City going back to 1869, this was outstanding effort,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He made the comment Monday on a trip to the New York City borough of Queens. He went there to visit reopened stores.

But he admitted not every side street had been cleared of snow.

In Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., officials reported most major roads had been cleared. But the officials could not say when smaller streets would be cleared of snow.

In Washington, people who did not get the day off because of government and school closings rode – or tried – to ride the city’s public transportation system.

Compared to Monday, more Metro bus and rail lines were operating Tuesday. But people who showed up at some stations in nearby Virginia Tuesday morning learned the stations were still closed.

The transit system provided buses to take passengers from the closed stations to the nearest open Metrorail stations.

Officials warned that the recovery efforts would cost a lot.

“When you have a storm of historic proportions, the budget will be historic as well,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

In New York City, Broadway shows, the Metropolitan Opera and other fine arts centers cancelled shows on Saturday. The closure announcements came after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on driving last Saturday.

But by Sunday, when the roads reopened, most shows went on as planned.

New York singer-songwriter Libbie Schrader went on Facebook to personally thank the New York City subway system for staying open. She said it enabled people to watch her show Sunday night at Rockwood Music Hall.

I'm Anne Ball.

Bruce Alpert wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or tell us about your bad weather experiences on our Facebook Page.

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Words in this Story

transit – n. buses or trains used to take passengers from one location to another

outstanding - adj. extremely good or well done

proportion – adj. the relationship that exists between the size, number, or amount of two things

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