East Coast snow is unrelenting

NEW YORK — Enough already.

People across the Northeast wearily shoveled their sidewalks and dug out their cars — again — after getting clobbered by the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of snowstorms, this one an overachieving mess that packed more punch than anyone expected.

"I've lived in New York 70 years, and this year is the worst I remember," said Lenny Eitelberg, 77. "It's the continuity of it. It just keeps coming. Every week there's something new to be worried about. It's almost become comical."

In the Washington area, up to 7 inches of snow renewed memories of last year's "snowpocalypse" and created chaos when it hit the nation's capital at the height of the evening rush hour Wednesday, forcing commuters into treacherous, eight-hour drives home. Even the president got caught in traffic.

New Yorkers, keeping close watch on the cleanup after a post-Christmas blizzard paralyzed the city for days, had it a little easier this time. The heaviest snow arrived overnight, when there weren't many cars and buses around to get stuck.

The forecast had called for up to a foot of snow, but the storm brought far more than that. New York got 19 inches, Philadelphia 17. Boston got about a foot, as expected. Many schools closed for a second day Thursday. Airports ground to a halt, and nearly a half-million people lost power at some point.

After digging out his driveway for the "umpteenth time" and knocking some large chunks of ice off his car, Joel Davis stood outside his home in Toms River, N.J., and wondered when he would ever see his lawn again.

"I like the snow and I expect to get some living here, but this is nuts," he said. "I can't remember the last time everything wasn't snow-covered. We didn't get a white Christmas, but it seems that it's been white ever since."

Washington-area residents, who had largely been spared heavy snow this winter after getting buried by a series of storms last year, lamented this year's encore. Around 300,000 people lost power, and motorists abandoned cars by the hundreds when pressing on proved fruitless.

In Maryland, jackknifed tractor-trailers and other stuck vehicles blocked roads and impeded snowplows.

"That's the nightmarish situation that we've been dealing with as quickly as we can," Gov. Martin O'Malley said.