America is buried by Jonas: 'Storm of a generation' dumps up to 40 inches of snow




America is buried by Jonas: 'Storm of a generation' dumps up to 40 inches of snow on the East Coast, with at least 19 killed, 12,000 flights axed, flooding and cars stranded for 24 hours 


    'Life-threatening' storm Jonas battered the East Coast on Saturday having reached New York and New Jersey
    Thousands of flights were canceled while motorists in Kentucky became stranded in a 35-mile traffic jam
    One in seven Americans is expected to see half a foot of snow by Sunday and Washington state could get four feet
    New York banned road travel and bus services and shut overground parts of the subway until at least 7am Sunday
    Nineteen people have been killed nationwide in weather-related accidents, according to police departments
    Coastal flooding has been reported in New Jersey while Virginia police responded to 1,000 crashes overnight


The East Coast of America was getting ready to dig its way out of record-breaking snowfall this morning after historic storm Jonas battered the nation on Saturday.

Glengary, West Virginia, topped the charts for the East Coast blizzard with an astonishing 40 inches of snowfall, but 67 locations, mostly in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, reported at least two feet of snow.

Baltimore alone saw record-breaking snowfall of 29 inches, Dulles International Airport outside of Washington was just behind at 23.5 inches of snow, which puts it third all time for that location with another eight hours or so of snow forecast, while New York City saw 26.8 inches – just 0.1 inches short of the 2006 record.

Ten states declared emergencies, with more than 12,000 flights canceled across the country over the weekend. Coastal flooding was reported in New Jersey, motorists in Kentucky and Pennsylvania were stranded for more than 24 hours, while the storm’s death toll reached 19. Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. One person died in Maryland and three in New York City while shoveling snow. And two people died of hypothermia in Virginia.

The New York Police Department's Chief of Department Jim O'Neill told reporters on Saturday one person on Staten Island and two people in Queens died. He released no further details on the deaths.

Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the Office of the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed that two deaths are the result of hypothermia. Those deaths occurred in Hampton and Wise County, in southwest Virginia.

State police did not release the names of the hypothermia victims or the time or circumstances of their deaths.

Meanwhile forecaster Ryan Maue said he was out of words to describe how bad the storm was, adding: 'This is going to be one of those generational events, where your parents talk about how bad it was.'

Today, it emerged Storm Jonas is heading across the Atlantic bringing violent storm force winds and heavy rain to the UK this week.



A man, wearing boots, gloves and a hooded jacket, walks along a street covered by snow during a winter storm in Washington



Pedestrians are seen walking on the snow-covered streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York as Storm Jonas hit the city

Travel bans barring nonemergency vehicles from the roads of New York City and Baltimore are expected to be lifted by early Sunday morning, and mass transit systems that had been partially suspended during the storm were scheduled to run again.

But even as United Airlines said limited service might begin later in the afternoon on Sunday in New York City, airports in the Washington DC area were likely to remain closed Sunday, and other airlines started to cut Monday service in addition to the 8,000 already-canceled weekend flights.

The usually bustling New York City looked more like a ghost town. With Broadway shows dark, thin crowds shuffled through a different kind of Great White Way, the nickname for a section of the theater district. And Bruce Springsteen canceled Sunday's scheduled show at Madison Square Garden.
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS 

Figures correct as of 10pm ET:

Washington, D.C. - two to three feet

Glengary, West Virginia  - 40 inches

Frederick County, Virginia - 38 inches 

Newwark, New Jersey - 24 to 28 inches

Philadelphia - 20 inches

Baltimore - 29 inches

New York - 25 inches 

In Washington, monuments that would typically be busy with tourists stood vacant. All mass transit in the capital was to be shut down through Sunday.

Seventeen-year-old Alex Cruz, helping a neighbor shovel snow Saturday in Silver Spring, Maryland, couldn't help but notice the emptiness.

'It's like living out in the middle of Wyoming,' he said.

Several seaside resort towns in New Jersey were temporarily isolated by flood waters when the tide rushed in on Saturday, and firefighters were hampered by floodwaters and the weather as they battled a blaze at a restaurant. 

Coastal flooding has already been reported in New Jersey and 100,000 homes were left without power. New Jersey Transit has been temporarily shut down on Saturday.

The winter storm created near-record high tides along the Jersey Shore, surpassing the tide of Hurricane Sandy according to North Wildwood city officials.

'When the water just started rushing down, it was as impressive as some of the videos you saw of Japan during the tsunamis,' said Jason Pellegrini, owner of Steak Out restaurant in Sea Isle City, who was trapped inside by floodwaters.

'It came in that fast,' he said.

Another restaurant, The Lobster House, was partly submerged by the rising tide more than 20 miles away in Cape May.

'It touched everywhere,' said Keith Laudeman, the third-generation owner of the nearly century-old establishment on Cape May Harbor. 'It even got to the equipment we moved and never thought would get touched.'

More than 25 inches of snow have fallen in New York City during a blizzard that has blanketed the East Coast. 

New York's governor Andrew Cuomo said a travel ban he instituted during a massive snowstorm will likely be lifted by Sunday morning and that he he expects to lift the ban that barred non-emergency motorists from being on the roads by 7am Sunday.

Officials had warned that police would enforce the ban so that workers could clear the roads. Cuomo says he's unaware of any arrests. The governor declared a state of emergency Saturday throughout New York City and its suburbs during the storm.

Transit officials have shut down the above-ground portions of the Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road and city subway systems. Public buses stopped running at noon in New York City.

Cuomo said officials will advise by 6am Sunday whether above-ground subway service will resume.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed a revised subway map after limiting service Saturday afternoon. Much service on the 4 and 5 lines in the Bronx, the A line to the Rockaways and the B, D, F and Q lines in Brooklyn is suspended. Bus service was shut down hours earlier. 

The MTA says above-ground Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad service also has been stopped.All Broadway shows have been canceled for the evening as actors and audiences were unable to make the journey to the performances.

The last time Broadway took a big weather hit was Superstorm Sandy in 2012. It darkened Broadway for four days and cost more than $8.5million in lost revenue.

Charlotte St Martin - president of The Broadway League, which represents producers - said: 'We expect normal operations to resume for tomorrow's Sunday matinees.'

Democratic Gov Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in New York City and its suburbs.

Officials say the 26.8 inches of snow that fell in New York City's Central Park is the second-most recorded since 1869.

The National Weather Service announced the new snowfall total just after midnight today. That narrowly misses tying the previous record of 26.9 inches from February 2006.

Forecaster Gregory Gallina of the National Weather Service says the weekend's blizzard is transitioning away from the Washington-Baltimore area, moving further north, but in doing so its 'end throws' are fierce.

That means strong winds of about an inch-and-a-half snow per hour and gusty nearly horizontal winds, although not the hurricane force winds seen on the coast on Saturday.

Gallina says the Washington-Baltimore-Philadelphia region should get another two to six inches of snow before the storm ends around midnight.

Seven locations near Washington have unofficially passed the 30 inches of snow mark, as of 1pm Saturday. That's according to the National Weather Service's running totals. And 36 places recorded at least two feet of snow.

Two airports in the Washington region will likely remain closed through Sunday.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, said Saturday evening in a statement that the airports continue to experience significant snowfall.

The authority says the snow and high winds are making snow removal on the runways, roadways and parking lots difficult. Add that to the closure of roads and public transportation, and the authority says it is unlikely that normal flight operations would resume Sunday.

The authority says passengers should contact their airline directly for specific flight information and to re-book any flights if necessary. The authority says it will continue to evaluate conditions to make decisions about when to open the runways.

Nearly 30 inches of snow had reportedly fallen at Dulles as of 8pm last night.

In New York, the blizzard is just strong, not ending. Gallina said New York City was seeing snow fall at a rate of two to three inches per hour.

Snow, ice and gusting winds are being blamed for the collapse of a roof at a historic Virginia theater near the Chesapeake Bay.

The Donk's Theater roof gave in Friday as the massive winter storm gripping the East Coast swept into Mathews County, about 75 miles east of Richmond. No one was injured.

The county's chief building official, Jamie Wilks, said the theater was a total loss, according to the Daily Press of Newport News. He said the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The theater opened in 1947 as a movie house. It closed in the 70s but was resurrected as a country music venue, ultimately earning the title as 'Home of Virginia's Lil' Ole Opry.'

Dolly Parton was among the country entertainers who performed at Donk's.

The powerful winter storm pummeling much of the United States also stymied the US. military on Saturday.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter was heading home from a five-day trip to Paris and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But his high-tech aircraft - known as the Doomsday Plane - wasn't able to land at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland as originally planned.

Instead, the plane took a left turn and headed south. Carter was rerouted to Tampa, Florida, where he will wait until he is able to fly into the nation's capital.

In Virginia police said they responded to 1,000 crash reports overnight, with another 900 people reporting breakdowns, and across the country 170,000 people are now reported to be without power, with the vast majority in North and South Carolina.

A trooper in Virginia was injured on Friday night while assisting a disabled vehicle on Interstate 64 in New Kent County. Geller said Trooper MD Jester is being treated for minor injuries in a Richmond hospital.

All bus services have been suspended in New York starting at midday Saturday due to poor visibility, while subway services are under review.

Thundersnow, a rare phenomenon in which lightning and thunder occurs during a snowstorm, was also reported in Maryland where up to 20 inches of snow was already on the ground by Saturday morning.

Speaking to CNN on Saturday, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said: 'We are ready to get the National Guard out for evacuations if necessary and we have shelters in every county in the state.

'People should stay inside, not only is the weather incredibly nasty but it is helping us keep roads passable. We have two to three inches falling an hour. Please stay inside, please don't drive today.' 

Hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight in Kentucky on a long stretch of Interstate 75 south of Lexington because of a string of crashes and blowing snow. Crews passed out snacks, fuel and water and tried to move cars one by one.

Police said Saturday afternoon that all lanes are open on Interstate 75 in south-central Kentucky after hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight. Kentucky State Police and emergency officials gave the update on Saturday. Later that day, traffic was cleared.

Trooper Lloyd Cochran has said he doesn't have a figure for number of cars or people affected by the standstill but noted that no injuries were reported.

He said local hotels were booked. Shelters also were opened, but Cochran says he doesn't know how many people went there. Cochran says salt trucks are out, but he and other officials say traffic is moving slowly and will continue to do so for some time.

Maryland Gov Larry Hogan has ordered the immediate closure of the entire 34.7-mile length of I-270 and I-70 from I-81 in Washington County to the Baltimore Beltway. 

The highways will remain closed until 7am on Sunday to all motorists except for emergency personnel. The closures follow snow related traffic incidents involving several tractor trailers and other vehicles on both interstates.

Hogan, in a news release Saturday evening, said, 'Closing I-70and I-270 will give us the time needed to deploy all our resources to clear these essential interstates as quickly as possible as we prepare to get our transportation network back up and running'.

Hogan urged Marylanders to stay off every road in the state. He said, 'Stay safe and stay at home while crews do their jobs'.  

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Saturday in a news conference that people should not be driving or walking in the streets.

Bowser told residents: 'We need you to stay home.'
SUSTAINED WIND GUSTS OF 35MPH OR MORE AND HEAVY SNOW IS WHEN A BLIZZARD BECOMES A SNOWSTORM 

Q: Is there a difference between a snowstorm and a blizzard?

A: Yes. The National Weather Service says a snowstorm becomes a blizzard when it meets a couple of conditions for at least three hours: Sustained wind or gusts of 35 mph or greater, and heavy falling and blowing snow, the type that reduces visibility to less than one-quarter of a mile.

Q: Why is this snowstorm so big?

A: This blizzard is a case of all the normal ingredients in a big snowstorm coming together. A storm system traveled from the Pacific along a strong jet stream and picked up warm moisture from the Gulf Coast and off the East Coast to stoke the precipitation content. Cold air from the north made that come down as snow, but it wasn't too cold because that would limit a storm. Add to that low atmospheric pressure to the south and high atmospheric pressure to the north, and that means high winds. High winds mean blizzard conditions. It's moving slow, and that means the snow piles up. Instead of being done snowing in 12 hours it can go 36 hours - and that can mean three times the snow.

Q: What about El Nino or global warming? Did they play a role?

A: While both are still affecting Earth's climate and its weather, most meteorologists downplayed those as factors in this storm.

Q: Is this a record?

A: It's too early to tell. First, it has to stop snowing. And it may be difficult to measure because the high winds are causing snowdrifts. But meteorologists say this is likely to be in the top three for Washington, though it won't be so high-ranking in the context of the greater East Coast. Washington's biggest three-day snowfall at Reagan National Airport was 28 inches in 1922. Baltimore's was 26.8 in 2003. Central Park in New York City had its biggest snowfall of 26.9 inches in 2006. 

Q: Do they rate snowstorms like they do hurricanes and tornadoes?

A: Yes, they do, but only after the fact. It's a rating system called the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale, and it was created by National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini and winter weather expert Paul Kocin. It is based on how big a storm is and how many people feel it. There's a 1 to 5 scale. Kocin is expecting this storm to be a 4, which is called crippling, but not a 5, which is extreme. 

Bowser says the visibility is poor and people walking in the streets are not easily seen. Officials say there are no reported fatalities so far. Officials say they expect another possible ten inches of snow as well as high winds.

'The forecasts suggest that the snow will wrap up late tonight or in the very early hours of the morning,' Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference. 'But it doesn't make it any less dangerous. We expect continued high winds throughout the area which will continue to make the conditions and visibility very poor.' 

Police Chief Cathy Lanier says even people with four wheel drive vehicles are getting stuck. Bowser again emphasized: 'Please stay home.'

About 150,000 North Carolina homes and businesses are shuddering in the cold after ice and strong winds caused power outages. 

The State Highway Patrol warned motorists on Saturday to stay off roads that were coated with invisible sheets of ice. Troopers had responded to more than 2,000 crashes since icy conditions moved in on Wednesday. At least five storm-related deaths are reported in the state.

The heaviest power outages were south of Raleigh. Officials warned statewide that sustained winds of 20 miles an hour Saturday threatened to rip down ice-coated power lines.

Most flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham's airport were canceled, but American Airlines' second-busiest hub in Charlotte was open.

Gov Pat McCrory urged fans to stay home rather than attend Saturday's rivalry game between Duke University and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. 

Authorities in Maryland say a man shoveling snow has died after an apparent heart attack as a blizzard dumps snow across much of the United States, bringing the total number of deaths from the storm to at least nineteen nationwide.

Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department spokesman Mark Brady says paramedics were called to the Fort Washington area around 10am Saturday for a report of a 60-year-old man who was shoveling and appeared to have a heart attack. Brady says medics were not able to revive the man and he died. His name wasn't released.

Brady had just sent out an advisory warning of the potential for heart attacks while shoveling. He urged people older than 50 and those with heart conditions to get someone else to do the job, noting that the amount of snowfall associated with this storm will be particularly challenging to shovel.

New York City's expected total was upped Friday to 18 to 24 inches. But Sullivan said 'the winds are going to be the real problem; that's when we'll see possible power outages.'

Snow was forecast to start falling in New York at around 4am on Saturday, but the first flakes actually fell at around 10pm on Friday, with a steady snowfall across Manhattan by 11pm.

The result could create snowdrifts four to five feet high, so even measuring it for records could be difficult, he said.

By evening, wet, heavy snow was falling in the capital, making downed power lines more likely, and yet many people remained on the roads, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said. 'Find a safe place and stay there,' she beseeched.

Anyone trying to travel in this mess risks getting stuck for hours, marooned in odd places, or killed, authorities warned.

At least 10 people died in storm-related crashes before the worst of the storm, including Stacy Sherrill, whose car plummeted off an icy road in Tennessee. Her husband survived after climbing for hours up a 300-foot embankment.

'They're slipping and sliding all over the place,' said Kentucky State Police Trooper Lloyd Cochran — as soon as one wreck was cleared, other cars slammed into each other, causing gridlock for hours on interstate highways. 

A man died in southeastern Kentucky when his car collided with a salt truck Thursday, state police said. Billy R. Stevens, 59, of Williamsburg was pronounced dead at the scene on state Route 92 in Whitley County. Two passengers were being treated at a hospital.

In addition, a four-year-old boy in North Carolina died Friday afternoon after the pickup truck carrying his family on Interstate 77 near Troutman spun out of control and crashed, said State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker.

The Ford pickup carrying two adults and their three children all under eight years old slammed into a tow truck working to haul out a vehicle that had run off the highway earlier, Baker said. Troopers say the boy was restrained in a child seat and died as a result of the impact. 

Motorists also were reported stranded along pockets of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel in Somerset County. The National Guard was called to help, said Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo.

In the Washington metro area, nearly two feet of snow was on the ground by Saturday morning. The federal government closed its offices at noon on Friday, and all mass transit was to be shut down through Sunday. President Barack Obama was one of many who stayed home.

In Silver Spring, Maryland, about 20 inches of snow had fallen by daybreak.

Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled. Plows cleared a heavily traveled road for ambulances and trucks, but few other vehicles were moving. A couple of intrepid people walked along the cleared portion of the road, ducking into the deeper snow when vehicles approached. 

Other states that got more than 6 inches included Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Parts of Georgia and Alabama received one to 3.5 inches. 

In North Carolina a Good Samaritan was allegedly shot and killed by the very man he tried to help after he saw a car spin out on an icy road on Friday afternoon.

Marvin Jacob Lee, 27, has been charged with the murder of Jefferson Heavner. Police said he struck Lee once and then stood over his body and shot him 'numerous times'. 

Heavner, 26, was among a group of people, including neighbors and a passing truck, who went to help when they saw a car spin out and become stuck on a Catawba County road around 5.20pm.

The group then decided to call police for assistance when Lee became belligerent, according to Sheriff Coy Reid.

AT LEAST NINETEEN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN STORM-RELATED AUTO ACCIDENTS

At least 19 people have been killed in accidents as a snowstorm pounds the eastern part of the U.S. Some details of the deaths:

KENTUCKY

A man died in southeastern Kentucky when his car collided with a salt truck Thursday, state police said. Billy R. Stevens, 59, of Williamsburg was pronounced dead at the scene on state Route 92 in Whitley County. Two passengers were being treated at a hospital.

NORTH CAROLINA

Gov. Pat McCrory said one person injured in an accident in Wilkes County on Wednesday evening has died, and another motorist was killed Friday in a crash on Interstate 95 in Johnston County.

A 60-year-old woman driving her car in Stokes County near her home about 5.45pm Wednesday hit an 'extremely icy' patch, went down an embankment and turned over in a creek, the state Highway Patrol said. Mary Williams was killed in the accident.

In neighboring Forsyth County, 55-year-old Rosa McCollough-Leake was killed when she slid on an icy roadway, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck head-on. Three people had minor injuries.

A 4-year-old boy died Friday afternoon after the pickup truck carrying his family on Interstate 77 near Troutman spun out of control and crashed, said State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker. The Ford pickup carrying two adults and their three children all under 8 years old slammed into a tow truck working to haul out a vehicle that had run off the highway earlier, Baker said. Troopers say the boy was restrained in a child seat and died as a result of the impact.

TENNESSEE

A car slid off the roadway due to speed and slick conditions, killing the driver and injuring a passenger, the Knox County sheriff's department said.

A couple was in a vehicle that slid off an icy road and plummeted down a 300-foot embankment Wednesday night, killing the woman who was driving, said Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford. Stacy Sherrill's husband, a passenger in the car, survived the crash. It took him several hours to climb the embankment and report the accident.

VIRGINIA

A man was killed in the City of Chesapeake, Virginia, on Friday after his car went off the snowy George Washington highway and hit a tree, said Officer Leo Kosinski. Two others died of hypothermia in the state.

MARYLAND

Authorities in Maryland say a man shoveling snow has died after an apparent heart attack as a blizzard dumps snow across much of the United States.

NEW YORK

Authorities said there were three shoveling-related deaths in New York City. Police have responded to at least 312 car accidents and 343 disabled vehicles across the city, officials said. 

'They thought he was drunk or on dope and said 'Let's just call the law and let them deal with it'', Reid told The Charlotte Observer.

When Lee heard them calling the police he took out an automatic pistol and began shooting at the group, who tried to run away, authorities said.

Police said Lee returned to his car, which was still stuck, after he struck Lee once and then shot him again multiple times.

Officers arrived on the scene and demanded Lee to get out of the car. When he did not a SWAT team arrived and found that he was passed out, according to Reid.

Lee woke up as he was being physically pulled out of the car by SWAT members and tried to resist, Reid said.

He has since been charged with murder. The shooting remains under investigation, according to WSOC.

Even before the snow began to fall Friday afternoon, states of emergency were declared. Lawmakers went home, and schools, government offices and transit systems closed early from Georgia to New York.

The ice and snow made travel treacherous, with thousands of accidents and at least nine deaths reported along the region's roadways. By late Friday, Virginia State Police had reported 989 crashes statewide and had assisted nearly 800 disabled vehicles, police spokesman Ken Schrad said.

The NHL postponed Sunday's game between the Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins because of the severe snowstorm in the Washington area.

The league on Saturday did not announce a makeup date.

This is the third game postponed in Washington because of the storm, following the Capitals' game against the Anaheim Ducks and the NBA game between the Wizards and Utah Jazz.
WINTER STORM JONAS CAUSES AIRLINE TRAVEL CHAOS 

Friday

Total delays: 7,493

Total delays within, into, or out of the United States Friday: 3,173

Total cancellations: 3,606

Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States Friday: 3,097

Saturday

Total delays Saturday: 4,814

Total delays within, into, or out of the United States Saturday: 1,556

Total cancellations Saturday: 5,194

Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States Saturday: 4,504

Sunday

Total delays Sunday: 531

Total delays within, into, or out of the United States Sunday: 0

Total cancellations Sunday: 3,374

Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States Sunday: 3,215

FlightAware

The Penguins next play against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and the Capitals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

A university basketball team and a university gymnastics team whose buses were marooned in snow on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are heading home after a long night on stranded on the highway.

Buses carrying the Duquesne University men's basketball team and the Temple University women's gymnastics squad were among more than 500 vehicles that got stuck on the turnpike Friday night as a blizzard hit the region.

National Guard members and front-end loaders started digging vehicles out Saturday. The teams say they their buses were freed Saturday night. Duquesne says 15 basketball players, coaches and support staff members helped push their bus through the snow. 

Coach Jim Ferry said the team bus got stuck around 9.15pm on Friday and hadn't moved since.

'We haven't moved one inch in 12 hours,' he said on Saturday morning.

Ferry said his players are running out of the leftover pizza they bought on the way home from an 86-75 win over George Mason on Friday.

'We're getting pretty hungry,' he said. 'We hope it starts moving pretty soon.'

The basketball team's Twitter account, Duquesne Basketball, tweeted Saturday: 'Update: a fire department has arrived with cases of water for all stranded vehicles, including our bus.'

However, for the passengers on a cruise ship heading back to snowy Baltimore from the Bahamas, one more day at sea doesn't seem such a bad idea.

The Maryland Department of Transportation said Friday that a blizzard means the port won't be ready for the Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas until Monday.

The ship was to return Sunday from an eight-day trip to the Bahamas, said Cynthia Martinez, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman. But plans changed after forecasters said the storm could dump more than two feet of snow.

Meg Ryan of Hamilton, New Jersey, one of the cruise ship's passengers, said she learned about 1pm on Friday of the postponement from the cruise line's website.

'I was not totally surprised and, frankly, happy to be delayed,' Ryan wrote in an email to The Associated Press. 'First, it is an extra day of vacation, but more importantly, safety comes first and travel Sunday would be difficult, if not impossible.' 

Ryan, 51, is an assistant manager of a luggage store in New Jersey. She is also a Master Cruise Counsellor, a certification from the trade organization Cruise Lines International Association. She works with a company called eCruisenet, which provides consulting services to passengers planning trips. Ryan said she was traveling with a group of eCruisenet clients.

Ryan said she expected the cruise line will have activities to entertain passengers, and the shops and casino will be open, 'ready to separate guests from their money.'

On the downside, Ryan said passengers were trying to rebook transportation from Baltimore to their homes. Also, the Grandeur of the Seas was to begin another cruise Sunday to the western Caribbean, so a fresh set of passengers will grapple with a delay. Ryan said the cruise line was helping passengers returning to Baltimore with free calls and Internet access; she took a photo of a line of people waiting to make calls.

Still, an on-board indoor solarium and pool presented an idyllic contrast to what awaited Ryan at home.

'I will return to Hamilton (near Trenton), N.J., to 2 feet of snow, and probably an irate cat, who I am sure will not be happy that I am delayed,' she wrote.

America is buried by Jonas: 'Storm of a generation' dumps up to 40 inches of snow America is buried by Jonas: 'Storm of a generation' dumps up to 40 inches of snow Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:21 PM Rating: 5

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