- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 18, 2003

From combined dispatches
One Washington couple had an idea to battle the inconveniences of this weekend's snowstorm.
They're going to the beach.
Robert and Elizabeth Huffman were returning to Washington after a trip to the Bahamas, but their connecting flight out of Miami International Airport was canceled because of the weather.
"We are not going anywhere," Mrs. Huffman said. "Everything's canceled until Wednesday, which I find hard to believe."
Her husband came up with the sunny alternative.
"We are thinking about going to the beach for the day," he said with a smile.
For those snowbound, the alternatives were fewer but nonetheless creative.
In Atlantic City, Mike DiBiase surveyed the eerily quiet blackjack tables and slot machines at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino.
He had heard the snow forecasts before driving here Saturday for a one-night stay and gambled the storm wouldn't be bad. He lost.
Then he lost some more, hanging around the craps and roulette tables.
Yesterday, he was still waiting for roads to clear so he could go home to New York's Staten Island.
"My credit cards are crying," the 49-year-old Mr. DiBiase said with a shrug. "I lost much more than I normally do because I've been stuck here, and what else are you gonna do?"
Most people along the East Coast found themselves in a similar situation to Mr. DiBiase's: stuck.
A huge winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in Washington on Sunday barreled up the East Coast yesterday, clogging roads, closing airports and leaving thousands stranded along its path.
Philadelphia, New York and Boston were all but snowbound, as poor visibility and drifting snow left the areas struggling with knee-deep snow. New York City reported blizzard conditions, and some New Jersey and Delaware beach communities had flooding caused by a storm surge and a full-moon high tide.
The National Weather Service expected the storm to bury the New York region under 2 feet of snow accompanied by 40 mph winds.
The snowfall, one of the heaviest recorded in many cities, began before dawn Sunday, triggering states of emergency in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, eastern West Virginia and Washington. In Edison, N.J., one man was reported killed in a snow-related roof collapse, local media said.
The snow was part of a mammoth weather system that, in a few days, set off winter storms in southern Illinois, flood watches in Alabama and ice-storm warnings in northern Kentucky.
New York's LaGuardia airport, which serves mainly domestic flights, closed midmorning yesterday because of "extremely low visibility and blowing snow," a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.
Meanwhile, passengers at the city's two major international airports, Newark Liberty in New Jersey and John F. Kennedy, were watching their flights being canceled, the spokesman said.
LaGuardia was under a foot of snow while JFK was struggling to clear almost 2 feet of snow from its runways.
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg estimated that the storm had so far cost his city $20 million.

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