The atmosphere was particularly frosty in New York, where some residents complained that plowing was spotty and schools were open while children elsewhere in the region stayed home.
The storm stretched from Kentucky to New England but hit hardest along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. As much as 14 inches of snow fell in Philadelphia, with New York City seeing almost as much, before tapering off. Temperatures were in the single digits in many places Wednesday and not expected to rise out of the teens.
Facing one of the first flashpoints of his weeks-old tenure, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the response to a storm he said caused a worse-than-expected headache when it ramped up at rush hour.
“We had a coordinated, intense, citywide response,” de Blasio said.
The mayor and city Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said the cleanup effort was equitable and robust, though complicated by traffic and the storm’s timetable. Those factors made it difficult to plow and spread salt, Doherty said. At one point, the wind and snow were so blinding that police pulled traffic agents out of many intersections.