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Winter Weather Snarls Travel, Could Strand Travelers For Days

A passenger at Boston's Logan Airport, waiting for his plane. (Nick Dynan for WBUR)
A passenger at Boston's Logan Airport, waiting for his plane. (Nick Dynan for WBUR)

A major winter storm brought blizzard conditions to much of the Northeast and continued to wreak havoc on travel plans throughout the Boston area.

Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency Sunday and urged residents to avoid driving Monday.

"We're going to have these conditions through about 10 or 11, or maybe midday, today," Patrick said. "For the public's own safety and to give the plows a chance, we're asking people as much as possible to stay indoors and off the roads."

Though Boston's Logan Airport is open, many Northeast airports are closed, snarling air traffic up and down the East Coast.

Planes on the ground at Logan are being allowed to takeoff, according to airport spokesman Phil Orlandella.

"If a plane is here and they get themselves de-iced and boarded they can go," Orlandella said. "There's no problem, if they're here."

Though flights are able to take off, the Associated Press reported that the storm may affect passengers flying out of Logan for days to come, thanks to a backlog of stranded travelers.

After canceling service Sunday, Amtrak began limited service on Monday.

Amtrak passengers that have tickets for travel between Boston and New York on Monday may experience delays, but will be able to travel, according to spokesman Cliff Cole.

"We're not going to run as many trains as we usually run, and the service will be Northeast Regional, not the Acela Express for the time being," Cole said.

State officials are urging commuters to utilize public transportation as much as possible, in order to give plow crews as much time and space to clear the roads as possible.

The T is running, but the bus system faced delays due to the road conditions.

The MBTA ran special "snow trains" Sunday night in order to keep the tracks clear.

"They just run up and down each rail line on the subway and commuter rail side," MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. "Their job is to keep the tracks free and clear of snow and ice. They did a good job of that. We also kept the trains moving, in and out of the yards, at the ends of each line overnight."

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This program aired on December 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Alex Ashlock Twitter Producer, Here & Now
Alex Ashlock has been a producer for Here & Now since 2005. He started his WBUR career as senior producer of Morning Edition in 1998.

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