A POWERFUL nor'easter dumped snow - almost three feet deep in spots - from North Carolina to Maine yesterday, canceling classes and closing businesses in 16 states.
It was the second major storm in a week to hit the Ohio Valley, Appalachia, and the East Coast.
Schools were closed in parts of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Hundreds of passengers were stuck at Miami International Airport and other airports as the storm forced nearly all major airlines to cancel or delay flights to most Northeastern cities.
West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton told thousands of state workers to stay home and ordered the National Guard to help in snow-clearing efforts.
Ohio's House of Representatives canceled a voting session Tuesday that would have been the first of the new year.
The heavy, wet snow brought down power lines. About half of the 62,000 people in Ohio's Washington County were without power, county officials said.
Many businesses never opened their doors Tuesday.
The intense storm formed when cold air pushed down from Canada, colliding with a front near the Gulf of Mexico.
By midday Monday, that storm, centered over Alabama, and another system over the Atlantic east of Charleston, S.C., were strengthening and drawing moisture from the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
The two systems merged early Tuesday and began to roll up the East Coast, the National Weather Service said.
Last week, a cold spell that took hold on Christmas dropped temperatures below zero Fahrenheit (below -18 C) in several states, bursting pipes, turning diesel fuel to jelly, and draining car batteries. Heavy snow crippled much of the Midwest and the East. At least 11 deaths were blamed on the weather.
Galbraith Enters N.Y. Race
Flanked by conservative heavy hitters Henry Kissinger and William F. Buckley Jr., investment banker and former diplomat Evan Galbraith said he is running for the GOP nomination for governor of New York.
On Tuesday, Mr. Galbraith, who served as ambassador to France under President Reagan, became the first New York Republican to announce his candidacy. Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo has not said whether he would seek a fourth term.
Unlike some other conservatives, Galbraith said he opposes the death penalty except for murder committed in the act of another felony.
He also said marijuana should be legalized because too much money is spent enforcing laws against it.
Galbraith said Governor Cuomo's policies have turned New York into a ``welfare state.''
New York Republican lawmakers Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and Rep. Susan Molinari have already said they would not seek the GOP nomination.