WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Another big winter storm was forecast on Monday for the U.S. mid-Atlantic still struggling to dig out from a blizzard that dumped two feet (half a meter) of snow and closed the federal government.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Washington, D.C., beginning at noon/1700 GMT on Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday, with projected snow totals of 10 to 20 inches.
The potentially crippling new storm was expected to hit other big cities along the East Coast, like Baltimore and Philadelphia, that are still digging out and extend into New Jersey and New York.
It would only add to the 32 inches of snow that had fallen in suburban Washington in the biggest snowfall to hit the city in decades.
The federal government was closed on Monday, though President Barack Obama still held meetings at the White House. Schools and most businesses in the region remained shut.
As officials worked to clear snow-covered streets from the Washington area, residents braced for another storm expected to dump much more snow than initially forecast.
Local officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, said the next storm could cause some roofs to collapse from the weight of all the snow and there could be more power outages.
In the county, about 80,000 people lost power on Saturday, and some customers still had no electricity or heat on Monday. Many schools said classes would be canceled through Tuesday, even before the latest storm warning.
On Monday, winter sunshine bathed the nation’s capital and the surrounding region, where people dug out their driveways and sidewalks, and plows finally started to clear streets in some residential neighborhoods.
Bus service on Monday was limited to just a small number of routes in the Washington, D.C., area and the region’s subway ran trains only on the underground portion of the system.
In New York, oil rose nearly 1 percent on Monday, after three sessions of losses stemming from the weaker U.S. dollar, geopolitical disputes, and the cold weather.
Unusually cold weather will settle across key heating fuel consuming regions in the United States this week, in the wake of heavy snow over the weekend and the next storm coming, forecasters said.
In Chicago, winter is wreaking havoc on the nation’s livestock and energy markets and there may be at least three more weeks of cold, snowy weather.
Cold and snow blanketed much of the central United States this winter, slowing weight gain in cattle and hogs, delaying livestock sales, and increasing feed costs for producers.
The new storm might also hit the Northeast, the nation’s largest market for heating fuel. The weekend blast largely bypassed that region.
Reporting by James Vicini in Washington, Bob Burgdorfer in Chicago and Edward McAllister in New York
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