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CNN Today

Massive Snow Storm Freezes East Coast

Aired January 25, 2000 - 2:05 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A foot of snow could blanket Washington today. The big storm shut down federal agencies and the city's famous monuments. Even the Pentagon closed for business today. But the Supreme Court, run by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a Wisconsin native, is in session. The city says 200 snow plows are out in force and hopes tomorrow will be business as usual.

The storm grounded passengers at Reagan National in Washington, and at airports up and down the East Coast. Here's CNN travel correspondent Stephanie Oswald with more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE OSWALD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a familiar seen this time of year: mother nature flexing her muscle. reminding us she's in charge when it comes to winter travel.

Tuesday morning greeted the northeastern United States with a coating of snow and ice. The storm is hampering travel from South Carolina to Maine. Flights are canceled and major airports from North Carolina to New York are shutdown.

Getting anywhere by train is more likely. Amtrak has only reported minor delays.

CLIFFORD BLACK, AMTRAK: Whenever there is a major snowstorm, Amtrak is looked upon as the fallback position for an awful lot of people who either drive or fly or take the bus.

OSWALD: The Internet is providing weather information to many would-be travelers. Sites such a cnn.com/weather, weather.com and yahoo! weather feature maps, the latest conditions and travel tips.

But even in this age of technology, sometimes common sense is the best advice.

TED ALLRED, AAA: They want to make sure that they have got at least a half a tank of gasoline and try to keep at least a half a tank of gasoline while they are traveling. And this will prevent gas lines from freezing during the severe weather.

OSWALD: AAA reminds those choosing to drive through the storm to: take your time, use low-beam headlights in snow and fog. And don't leave home without a complete emergency driving kit. Stephanie Oswald, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: This storm slowed New Yorkers a bit, but it takes more than a nor'easter to bring the Big Apple to a standstill.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is in the middle of it in Manhattan's Union Square.

Deborah, how is it there?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, not so bad. First, we had this blinding snow. Then, we had freezing rain. A few minutes ago we were hit with pelting hail. And it almost makes you wish the snow were back. That is likely to happen sometime later today.

I am in a playground, not a lot of kids here. The reason for that is because New York City's 1100 public schools remained open today.

The big problem that we're looking at right now is ice, and you can see picked up what is kind of a thin sheet of ice. This is what is going to be on the roadways, also on the electrical wires. And power companies keeping a close eye on that right now. There are some 1200 snowplows on the roads, trying to keep the streets clear, 5,000 tons of salt will be on the roadways by day's end.

New York City's mayor, Rudy Giuliani, urged New Yorkers to thank the sanitation workers, who have been trying to keep this city clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK: It is truly one of those things that people from all over the country and the rest of the world come here and try to figure out how can we respond to an emergency as well as they do in the city of New York. And then we also have tremendous agencies, the sanitation department, the transportation department, the police department, the fire department, all of the agencies that are engaged in emergency response.

You know, we have emergencies every day. So when we have a big one, well, there's just more people doing the same thing they do almost every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: The folks in this news stand just below me are trying to keep as warm as they possibly can. The mayor is urging business owners to stagger quitting times so employees can go home and not flood the subways and the buses all at the same time. But the folks in the news stand say, they're staying until quitting time, which is about 9:00 or 9:30. And they are going to have icy going by the time they do leave.

Reporting live, Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

ALLEN: New Hampshire is getting hit with heavy snow today. But that is hardly new up there, where politics is hot and the soul hearty.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve is in Manchester.

Hello there, Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie.

This soul is not feeling very hearty right now. I can tell you that here at Alvern (ph) High School in Hudson, New Hampshire, school is out, as it is in many communities across this part of the state. It is snowing, as you can tell. The winds have really picked up here in the last 20 minutes or so.

The snow is projected to continue into the night. They may get 8-14 inches in this part of the state. And there is a possibility that at some point it is going to mix with sleet and freezing rain. That is going to be bad news for the presidential candidates, who are here scouting up votes because it is going to make traveling more difficult, and it is going to make it hard to draw crowds their events, and boy those crowds are important in these final days before New Hampshire votes in it's primary.

This is the first significant snow here in New Hampshire this year, a state that knows how to deal with snow and knows how to drive in it. In some ways, it is even welcome.

When I was here a week ago with the presidential campaign, they had temperatures with windchill of 20, 30, even 40 degrees below zero. And so folks here are sort of welcoming a little bit of the white stuff.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, reporting live from Hudson, New Hampshire.

ALLEN: A hearty soul she is.

WATERS: She is, no matter what she says.

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