The northeastern United States on Wednesday was slowly getting back to normal despite the frigid temperatures and flight delays across the region after the heavy snows that fell within the past 24 hours forced offices and schools to close from Washington to New York.

On Wednesday, 1,400 flights were cancelled by the storm and the ice-cold winds, although that was a far cry from the 3,000 that had to be cancelled on Tuesday along the Eastern Seaboard.

Nevertheless, with temperatures colder than -15 C (5 F) in some spots and up to 30 cm (1 foot) of snow on the ground, many services were still operating at just half-steam and travelers, in particular, were still suffering the effects of the storm.

La Guardia Airport in New York and the Newark airport were the air hubs registering the most delays on Wednesday, although authorities there hope to get back to normal as the impact of the wind and snow moderate late in the day.

Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington also experienced numerous flight delays and cancellations.

The storm is another polar cold front and the result of a weather occurrence that at the beginning of the year brought the storm dubbed Hercules followed by the southward move of the so-called polar vortex that froze two-thirds of the nation.

The concurrence of two big storms and the frigid temperatures in less than a month across much of the Midwest and Northeast have resulted in some 14 million families being exposed to a shortage of heating fuel.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in fact, this week declared an energy emergency with the aim of expediting fuel distribution, and two dozen other states have taken similar measures.

In Washington, offices opened two hours later on Wednesday after being closed all day on Tuesday, and ice and snow on the roadways complicated travel for millions during the morning and resulted in public transport delays and school shutdowns for the second day in a row.

At present, the state of Massachusetts is bearing the brunt of the storm and is still beset with winds of up to 80 km (50 mi.) per hour and heavy snow.

The chilly conditions will remain in place at least until Thursday. EFE