Snow Storm Causes Havoc in Northeastern US: At least 13 Die in Accidents; 3,467 flights Cancelled, Temperatures Plummet to -36C

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | January 4, 2014 6:14 PM EST

Waves crash into houses on Lighthouse Road during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Scituate, Massachusetts January 3, 2014.
Waves crash into houses on Lighthouse Road during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Scituate, Massachusetts January 3, 2014.

People across the northeastern region of the United States dug out piles of snow of up to two feet in some places, while residents in the area are bracing for worsening conditions with temperatures expected to drop to a dangerous low.

The storm - named as Hercules - has caused thousands of flights to be cancelled, due to which travellers had to spend nights in cots provided by the airport authorities. The Associated Press has attributed at least 13 deaths to the storm. A Philadelphia worker was killed when a pile of salt being prepared to treat roads cascaded on him. A 71-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease was also found dead after she wandered away from her home in New York State.

The first major winter storm of 2014 caused chaos in Boston, which accumulated nearly 18 inches of snow. Essex Country, which lies just north of Boston received a whooping 2 feet of the fresh white powder.

The Hercules lived up to its 'herculean' namesake, as it slammed across major cities from Washington D.C., to Portland and Maine. New York's Manhattan Island was dumped with 6 inches of snow, while parts of Queens accumulated more than 10 inches of the white flakes.

A driver works to dig a car out of the snow during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts January 3, 2014.
A driver works to dig a car out of the snow during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts January 3, 2014.

While the powdery snow made it easy for shovel works, Hercules left residents shivering in dangerous cold with temperatures plummeting to unprecedented low. Embarrass, Minnesota, was pinched with a bitter reading of minus 38 degree Celsius (minus 36 Fahrenheit), the lowest in the United states outside Alaska on Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Overnight, Boston was forecast to dwell in the low of minus 20C (4F), while New York will shiver in the bitter temperature of minus 16C (3F).

FlightAware.com, a website that tracks flights cancellations and delays said that some 3,467 flights were cancelled on Friday across the United States while 12,394 were delayed. Airport authorities across the region warned travelers to expect delays as many holiday makers were stranded on their way back home. 

 People wait for their delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York January 3, 2014.
People wait for their delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York January 3, 2014.
People wait for their delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York
People wait for their delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York
A snow plow clears the road of snow along the New York State Thruway Interstate 87 in Tarrytown, New York
A snow plow clears the road of snow along the New York State Thruway Interstate 87 in Tarrytown, New York

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(Photo: / )
Waves crash into houses on Lighthouse Road during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Scituate, Massachusetts January 3, 2014.
(Photo: / )
A driver works to dig a car out of the snow during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts January 3, 2014.
(Photo: / )
People wait for their delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York January 3, 2014.
(Photo: / )
People wait for their delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York
(Photo: / )
A snow plow clears the road of snow along the New York State Thruway Interstate 87 in Tarrytown, New York
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