February 6, 2011 / 8:00 PM / 9 years ago

Latest Eastern storm exits, two more on the way

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The latest storm blew off the East Coast early on Sunday, sending snow shovelers and crane operators scrambling to clear threatened roofs and icy walkways before two more storms arrive to start the work week.

The first new front is moving in from the Midwest and was expected to bring snow from the Ohio Valley throughout the Northeast starting Sunday night, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Jim Dickey. The second will move east across the Deep South on Monday and hit the East Coast late Monday into Tuesday.

“There will be some disruptive snowfall,” said Dickey, although he noted accumulations would likely pale in comparison to the record-breaking snow of the last few storms.

The danger of roofs collapsing from snow piling up after a series of storms caused the shutdown of buildings throughout the Northeast.

Schools in Seabrook, New Hampshire, have been closed since Wednesday of last week and those in Methuen, Massachusetts, schools are expected to remain shut through at least Wednesday of this week to remove rooftop snow.

A Target store in Woburn, Massachusetts, reopened Sunday after being closed for three days while a crane equipped with a pouch was used to haul snow off the roof into the parking lot.

At Indianapolis International Airport, the parking garage remained partially closed on Sunday after sections of its fabric canopy ripped, dumping snow and ice into the structure. Eight rental cars stored inside were damaged but no one was hurt.

While the East Coast took advantage of sunny, warmer temperatures to dig out on Sunday, the Midwest was expected to remain in the grip of scattered rain and sleet giving way to snow flurries throughout the day.

Chicago got another three inches of snow on Sunday on top of the 20 inches from last week’s historic blizzard. To claim the parking spots they dug out of the snow drifts, many Chicagoans used “dibs” markers, including lawn chairs, buckets, even a keyboard and hockey nets.

Illinois senators, meanwhile, asked federal officials to discuss ways to better protect the city’s shoreline in the event of storms as severe as the one last week that shut down Chicago’s lakefront highway.

Frigid temperatures and below zero wind chills were predicted to follow the latest snowstorm and that cold front was expected to move East on Monday night.

“One thing is definite. Behind this storm is a shot of bitter cold air,” AccuWeather’s Dickey said.

In New York City, where temperatures rose into the 40s midday, the brief respite allowed repair crews back on the roadways, where they have patched 45,000 potholes since December 1, said Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the city Department of Transportation.

This winter, 40 crews have filled a daily average of 2,000 potholes, Garcia said. Potholes are caused by fluctuating temperatures, as melting snow and rain seep into cracks in the pavement and then freeze and expand, chipping asphalt.

“Mother Nature has thrown everything at us this winter and we’re striking back,” said Sadik-Khan.

Additional reporting by Susan Guyett in Indianapolis, Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Jerry Norton

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