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Northeast residents dig out after storm

As electricity returns and highways reopen, Northeast residents are getting back to their weekday routines following the massive snowstorm that had millions digging out from New York to Maine.

But the routine for some New Englanders will be disrupted by school and workplace closings, while residents of New York's Long Island anticipate the reopening of a major roadway. For some there's also a new worry: the danger of roof collapses as rain and warmer weather melts snow.

The storm that slammed into the region with up to 3 feet of snow was blamed for at least 15 deaths in the Northeast and Canada, and brought some of the highest accumulations ever recorded. Still, coastal areas were largely spared catastrophic damage despite being lashed by strong waves and hurricane-force wind gusts at the height of the storm.

Hundreds of people, their homes without heat or electricity, were forced to take refuge in emergency shelters set up in schools or other places. But by early Monday, outages had dropped to 149,970, more than 126,000 of them in Massachusetts.

"For all the complaining everyone does, people really came through," said Rich Dinsmore, 65, of Newport, R.I., who was staying at a Red Cross shelter set up in a middle school in Middletown after the power went out in his home on Friday.

Dinsmore, who has emphysema, was first brought by ambulance to a hospital after the medical equipment he relies on failed when the power went out and he had difficulty breathing.

"The police, the fire department, the state, the Red Cross, the volunteers, it really worked well," said the retired radio broadcaster and Army veteran.

Driving bans were lifted and flights resumed at major airports in the region that had closed during the storm, though many flights were still cancelled Sunday. Public transit schedules were being restored.

The Canadian Press


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