NEW YORK – Cleanup crews were out early Saturday clearing snow and ice from Manhattan streets for the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, a day after a heavy storm buffeted the East Coast and caused the cancellation of more than 1,400 flights.
The sleet, snow and freezing rain that pelted the East Coast on Friday had tailed off Saturday as the weather system moved northward.
Eight inches of snow fell at Frostburg, Md., with 5 in New York City, and a record 2.13 inches of rain fell at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Up to 2 feet of snow fell in New York's northern Catskills.
In Hartford, Conn. and York, Pa., officials postponed their annual St. Patrick's Day parades. New York did not cancel its parade, and officials were expecting up to 2 million people to attend.
Hundreds of traffic accidents were blamed on the icy roads, including one involving a vehicle in President Bush's motorcade traveling from Washington to Camp David. No one was injured.
The weather was blamed for at least six traffic deaths in New Jersey, three in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland, authorities said.
In New Hampshire, three presidential hopefuls canceled appearances because of the weather — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. McCain, Dodd and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., were campaigning in the state Saturday.
Schools were closed throughout the Northeast and some government agencies sent workers home early.
Winter officially ends at the vernal equinox Tuesday evening, but climatologists said it was not unusual for storms to arrive well into March.
"Usually you have the biggest storms in March," said meteorologist Kevin Lipton in Albany, N.Y.
On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that this winter was the warmest worldwide since record keeping began in 1880.