Washington shuts down as fierce snowstorm slams Midwest
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US government shut down on Wednesday ahead of a fierce snowstorm packing heavy, wet snow that had blanketed the Midwest, leaving thousands without power and forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.
Washington could get slammed by its biggest snowfall in as much as two years, with 15 cm to 30 cm expected after the storm moved eastward into the mid-Atlantic states, the National Weather Service said.
The government, already hit by US$85 billion () in overall budget cuts that took effect last Friday, ordered 375,000 federal workers in the Washington area to stay home.
Major school districts in the area also shut down ahead of the storm, which is packing winds of up to 56 km per hour.