Snowstorm Nemo: North-eastern US and Canada dig out

Drivers are still being advised to stay off the roads while snow is cleared away

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Thousands of people across large swathes of the north-eastern United States and eastern Canada are battling to clean up after a huge snowstorm.

The storm has been blamed for more than a dozen deaths, and some 345,000 homes and businesses remain without power.

In many areas, more than 3ft (90cm) of snow fell in a matter of hours, downing power lines, grounding planes and paralysing transport.

The states of Massachusetts and Connecticut lifted vehicle travel bans.

In New York's Suffolk County, police said they had rescued hundreds of motorists stuck overnight on the Long Island Expressway.

At the scene

In Coney Island and Brighton Beach, we found several people shovelling snow from outside their homes. These parts of Brooklyn were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in October. In some places, piles of debris from that storm are now covered by piles of snow from this one.

We met Louis Plaza cleaning out two properties he looks after. Like many people we spoke to, he was in good spirits and resigned to a day of shovelling.

"There's no way I could have prevented this," he told me.

Earlier in Manhattan, people and cars were joining the hundreds of snow ploughs and gritters that had been working all night. After Sandy, it seems New York authorities left nothing to chance for this storm. It also helped that the impact was not as bad as had been feared.

The Long Island Power Authority reported about 4,000 customers without power late on Sunday morning, down from a peak of about 40,000.

However, as the snow storm moved gradually eastwards, coastal blizzard and flood warnings remained in effect.

The mayor of the Connecticut city of Stratford, John Harkins, said the snowfall was unprecedented in his lifetime.

"Even the ploughs are getting stuck," Mr Harkins told local local television.

Boston's Logan International Airport and the three airports serving New York City have gradually resumed their services after more than 5,000 flights were cancelled on Saturday.

In New York's central borough of Manhattan, normally bustling streets were quiet over the weekend - apart from snow blowers.

Resident Bill Tavonallo, 39, told AP: "It's nice to have a reason to slow down."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city had "dodged a bullet" after a little more than 28cm (11in) fell in the city.

"Exceptional" weather conditions caused the snowstorm

The deaths of about 15 people were blamed on the storm - some while trying to tackle the snow, others in car accidents. There were reported to be three deaths in Canada alone.

In Connecticut, an 80-year-old woman was reported to have been killed by a hit-and-run driver while clearing her driveway, and a 40-year-old man collapsed while clearing snow.

In Boston, officials said an 11-year-old boy had died from carbon monoxide poisoning as he sat in a car with the engine running for warmth.

Canadians on the Atlantic Coast were also bracing for blizzards after heavy snow fell on Ontario.

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland remain under blizzard or storm watches.

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America North forecast for 19/12/2014

Map Key

  • land colour Land
  • cloud colour Cloud
  • Lakes, Rivers & Sea colour Lakes, Rivers & Sea

Fog

Fog Colour Range
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Frost

Frost Colour Range
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Pressure Fronts

Cold Front Illustration
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Warm Front Illustration
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Occluded Front Illustration
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Rain

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Extreme

Snow

Snow Colour Range
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Temperature tab only

Temperature (°C)

Temperature range chart

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