* Washington's 110-year-old seasonal snow record falls
* UN in New York closes, thousands of flights canceled
* New York, Washington, Philadelphia shut down
(Recasts, adds details throughout)
By Michelle Nichols and Jeremy Pelofsky
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Feb 10 A second blizzard
in a week buried the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday, breaking a
century-old snowfall record in the nation's capital, leaving
thousands without power and creating a multimillion-dollar
From Washington to Philadelphia and New York, cities
largely ground to a halt with governments shut down, public
transport scaled back, thousands of flights canceled and some
highways closed as snow and powerful winds created whiteout
The United Nations in New York was closed. But Wall Street
and many other businesses plowed on, and one brokerage house,
J.P. Morgan Chase, offered cots in conference rooms for workers
if they got stuck at work.
"I was as excited as all the school kids when I found out
the U.N. was having a snow day. But I don't really get the day
off, I am still working from home," said Stephanie Dunstan, 33,
an Australian who works for the U.N. Development Program.
The snow did dampen Wall Street trading and was also partly
blamed for poor demand at a $25 billion U.S. bond auction.
"People are focusing on how they're getting home because of
the snow," said Jeffrey Frankel, president of Stuart Frankel &
Co in New York, describing it as "a very dull" stock market.
The National Weather Service said Washington's winter
snowfall broke a 110-year-old record with Wednesday's blizzard
setting a new mark of 54.9 inches (139.4-cm). Baltimore also
set a new seasonal record and Philadelphia was forecast to
Drivers were warned to stay off roads as the snow caused
accidents and highway closures. Local media reported multi-car
accidents in both Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Thousands of flights were canceled, and airlines relaxed
ticket policies to allow passengers to change their plans
without penalty, moves that could cloud the outlook for an
industry already hard hit by the battered economy.
The blizzard is expected to end early on Thursday, leaving
a hefty clean-up bill. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it
cost taxpayers $1 million for each inch (2.54 cm) that fell.
U.S. government offices in Washington were also closed for
the third straight day, at a cost of some $100 million in lost
productivity per day. President Barack Obama had just one item
listed on his public agenda, and met at the White House with
U.S. black leaders to discuss jobs and the economy.
The U.S. House of Representatives canceled votes for the
week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would
not be in session on Wednesday but would resume work on
Thursday. He said he doubted the Senate would have any votes
this week. Many congressional hearings were also called off.
In New York, companies allowed employees to leave early and
many people worked from home. The busy Metro-North train line
between New York and Connecticut said there were almost 40
percent fewer passengers than usual on Wednesday morning.
"It's not that bad out, the snow isn't that bad. It's
mostly an excuse not to go to work. People freak out. But now
that kids have no school, they have to stay home," said Marc
Cadiente, 33, who works at a New York design firm.
Amtrak rail service warned of limited service along its
lucrative Northeast corridor. There were no flights in or out
of Washington's two major airports and while New York's three
main airports were open, most flights were also canceled.
State offices in five major Pennsylvania cities were
ordered closed, and New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts
government offices were shut down, with only emergency and
essential personnel required to report for duty.
Some cities, such as Baltimore, ordered all vehicles from
the streets except emergency vehicles.
The storm, which has been dubbed "Snoverkill" and
"Snowmageddon 2.0," packed strong winds that could cause
additional power outages in a region already reeling from a
major weekend snowstorm.
Almost 25,000 customers were without power in the Baltimore
and Washington areas, according to electric companies, Pepco,
Dominion and Constellation Energy Group's BG&E. About 30,000
people were without power in southeastern Pennsylvania, said
the local utility PECO.
The storm comes as residents were still trying to dig out
from weekend snowfalls of 18 (46 cm) to 32 inches (81 cm) from
Washington to southern New Jersey. Some struggled to restock
refrigerators and clear fallen trees ahead of the new storm.
Schools were closed across much of the region, and many
canceled classes for the rest of the week.
The Washington bus system did not operate on Wednesday and
the subway only operated the underground section of its system.
In New York commuter train services were increased in the early
afternoon to try and get people home before the worst of the
blizzard was due to hit in the early evening.
And like Wall Street and some other businesses, on Broadway
the show went on.
"The Great White Way is not letting the white snow outside
affect the musicals and plays in its theaters," said executive
director of The Broadway League Charlotte St. Martin.
(Additional reporting by David Alexander and Tim Ryan in
Washington; New York bureau; Jon Hurdle in Philadelphia;
Editing by Cynthia Osterman)