11 Feb 2010

Blizzards hit north-eastern US

3:21 pm on 11 February 2010

Blizzards have hit cities in the north-eastern United States with government offices staying shut for a third day.

Ploughing operations in Washington DC have been partly suspended because of hazardous conditions.

The National Guard has been called out to help clear streets in the capital.

Federal agencies in Washington are shut and the House of Representatives has called off all votes for this week. The Senate is due to resume work on Thursday.

The National Weather Service said there is heavy snow and high winds from Virginia to New York. The BBC reports the region is already dealing with days of heavy snow.

Schools are closed in New York, for only the third time in six years, and the United Nations has closed its headquarters in the city.

According to the National Weather Service, Philadelphia is expecting up to 48cm of snow and Baltimore as much as 51cm.

Baltimore has banned all but emergency vehicles from driving on city streets.

Transport is widely disrupted, with airports in Washington shutting early on Tuesday. Many airlines have also cancelled flights for Wednesday.