New York Travel Ban Lifted, Washington Still Unsafe

The travel ban imposed on New York in the light of the near-record blizzard on the eastern side of the United States has been lifted. Washington D.C.,however, still remains unsafe from the danger of the storm that has already killed 19 people across the country.

According to the National Weather Service, this blizzard is recorded as the second-biggest in New York City history, with 26.8 inches (68 cm) of snow in Central Park by midnight on Saturday, which is just 0.1 inches less than the record 26.9 inches of snow.

New York City lifted a travel ban at 7 a.m. on Sunday. Though the travel ban has been lifted, Mayor Bill de Blasio has still suggested New Yorkers not to travel unnecessarily.

Regarding the safety measures being taken, he made the following statement.

“Our plows will still be clearing the streets, and we must keep the streets passable for emergency vehicles.”

All alternate side parking regulations were suspended through Friday throughout the city. The mayor has urged residents to not dig their cars out unless it is an emergency. He also added that snow should not be thrown into the road when digging out a car.

Thirteen people were killed in the blizzard-induced car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia on Saturday. A person from Maryland died while three died in New York trying to shovel the snow.

By early on Sunday, the storm had started to binge off the coast, with the residual elements still hovering over parts of Long Island and Cape Cod. A major portion of Northeast was expected to see a mix of sun and clouds on Sunday with temperatures in and around the freezing point.

Washington D.C. streets were evacuated early on Sunday. The major downtown arteries were already cleared and lined with mounds of snow. Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a call for 4,000 people to help dig the city out, in addition to the 2,000 volunteers who have already signed up.

Major public services have already been shut down at Washington including The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which includes the second-busiest U.S. subway system.

As reported by Inquisitr yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo imposed a travel ban and declared a state of emergency, the announcement would result in people outside their homes getting arrested. While the ban on walking outside in New York City has been fully lifted, the state of emergency imposed by Cuomo is still intact.

Bridges and tunnels into the city have also reopened. The subways running above ground are also starting to resume their operations.

The Long Island Rail Road is still halted but the Metro-North railroad is now functional.

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According to the National Weather Service, 17.8 inches snow (45.2 cm) fell in Washington D.C., which is the fourth-largest snowfall in the city’s history. Baltimore-Washington International Airport recorded a massive snowfall of 29.2 inches.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said this morning that today would be a major cleanup day. He urged residents to stay off streets so city crews could clear roads.

In an interview with ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolous, he made the following statement.

“We still have some areas that we have to do a lot more work on. But we’ve come through it pretty well. The snow pile is going to be with us for a while, but I think we’ll be in good shape in the next 24 hours,”

A lot of people have been frustrated by the storm and they have opted to volunteer. A Washington food store, Broad Branch Market, opened with a very limited number of employees, and was trying to organize volunteers to shovel sidewalks for elderly people and other people in need of help.

Now that the travel ban has been lifted, people in New York can clean up while hoping that the storm which has caused “cold chaos” in the country is over.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]