Page last updated at 22:33 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Snow brings havoc to eastern US


Snow hits roads and towns in southern states of the US

Heavy snow has blanketed the eastern coast of the United States, closing schools and disrupting transport.

Southern states including Georgia and Alabama were the first to be hit as the weather system moved north along the eastern seaboard.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled and snow ploughs have been struggling to keep major roads open.

At least five people have been killed in road accidents caused by blizzard conditions in the north-east.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled and hundreds of thousands of people were left without power as up to one foot (30cm) of snow fell in some cities.

'Lion's roar'

In Philadelphia, officials declared a Code Blue weather emergency, which gives them the power to go on to the streets and bring in homeless people for their own protection.

Snow outside the White House
White House security officers used four-wheel-drive vehicles to get around

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday: "It's 1 March, which you know is the month that we say comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.

"It's pretty clear that the lions are getting ready to roar."

More than one million students in the city had the day off on Monday, as New York's schools remained shut.

Hundreds of schools were also closed across South Carolina, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

The weather also led to power cuts in many areas. Early on Monday, power companies reported about 100,000 homes without electricity in North Carolina and another 123,000 in Virginia.

Most flights at Boston's Logan International Airport were cancelled, as were about 900 flights at the New York's three major airports - Newark, JF Kennedy and LaGuardia.

In Georgia, Delta Air Lines cancelled about 300 flights into or out of Atlanta over the weekend.

The airline urged travellers to consider postponing or re-routing journeys.

Bus companies have also cancelled many services in and out of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

The quick-moving storm was expected to move into south-eastern Canada on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said.

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