The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 11, 2013

Northeast commuters hit roads after digging out


NATICK, Mass. —

Snow banks were piled high on the unusually quiet streets of downtown Hartford, where the big insurance firms encouraged people to work from home Monday.

In Fairfield, Conn., Mary Elizabeth Anderson said she couldn't go to her job as a marketing director Monday because her street had not been plowed yet. She said the town told her streets that normally take about 10 minutes to plow were taking close to an hour.

"You have to be patient," Anderson said. "I'm sure they're doing the best they can. It's a huge undertaking."

The only path on the road was what a neighbor did with a snow blower, she said.

Hundreds of people, their homes without heat or electricity, were forced to take refuge in emergency shelters set up in schools or other places. But by early Monday, outages had dropped to about 130,000 — more than 110,000 of them in Massachusetts.

Driving bans were lifted and flights resumed at major airports in the region that had closed during the storm, though many flights were still canceled Sunday. Public transit schedules were being restored.

Aurea Santiago of Shrewsbury drove into work at a Boston bank. The worst part was the side roads, she said.

"A couple of the lanes are pretty narrow," she said. "If you get in the wrong lane it's pretty dicey."

The Boston-area public transportation system, which shut down on Friday afternoon, resumed full service on Monday — but told commuters to expect delays. The Metro-North Railroad resumed most train service on its New York and Connecticut routes while the Long Island Rail Road said commuters could expect a nearly normal schedule.

On New York's Long Island, Samantha Cuomo was stressed out as her 40-minute commute to work turned into two hours Monday.

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