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Eastern Seaboard Hit by Snow, Sleet

January 20, 2002|From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — A winter storm battered East Coast cities from Washington to New York on Saturday, blanketing the Middle Atlantic region with its first significant snowfall of the season.

The system brought wet snow and sleet to the nation's capital, triggering cancellations of school and community activities along the Eastern Seaboard.

Suburban communities called emergencies as thousands of snow-clearing vehicles, including plows and salt trucks, set out before sunset to keep roadways clear.

Winter storm warnings were posted for parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

About 5 inches of snow had fallen in New York City's suburbs Saturday evening, but there were few disruptions downtown, where less than 2 inches fell in Central Park.

In other states, dozens of cars and trucks slid off roads.

Locally heavy snow blanketed West Virginia and some neighboring areas of Kentucky and Virginia during the morning.

Northbound Interstate 79 was closed by a tractor-trailer accident near Fairmont, W.Va., and dozens of other accidents were reported elsewhere around the state, where 5 inches to 9 inches of snow was possible.

Work continued at the World Trade Center site in New York. Snow on the rubble melted, making conditions muddy and slippery for rescue workers.

New York City's Sanitation Department sent out 240 snowplows Saturday night, but the city had 1,400 plows, 353 salt spreaders and more than 220,800 tons of salt on standby.

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