EAST COAST Snowstorm fails to live up to predictions

The morning commute in most areas was much easier than people expected.
Snowfall tapered off before the morning commute today as crews cleared piles of flakes and a crunchy glaze of ice after a storm that closed schools for more than a million youngsters and tied up air travel.
Motorists expecting to confront deep snow in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts mostly found roads slippery but passable.
Up to 10 inches of snow fell in northeastern New Jersey, but only about another inch or so was expected during the day, the National Weather Service said.
"We're in relatively good position," New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey said today.
The snow was the latest headache from a series of storms that had spread snow and ice over parts of the eastern half of the nation since the weekend. Ice in Georgia and the Carolinas knocked out electrical service to hundreds of thousands of customers Tuesday, and slippery roads had closed schools, businesses and some government offices from the Plains to the coast.
At least 50 deaths were attributed to snow, ice and cold from Kansas to the East Coast this week.
School canceled
Today, classes were canceled in many school districts in New England and the Middle Atlantic region, including schools in New York City, the nation's largest system with 1.1 million pupils. For thousands of Maryland children, it was the third consecutive day off as crews cleaned roads.
However, the storm didn't live up to expectations in the Northeast. Of the 13 inches forecast overnight at Albany, N.Y., only 3.4 fell, the National Weather Service said. Rhode Island got only half the 10 inches of snow predicted. But 30 miles east of New York City on Long Island, Dix Hills had 13.2 inches.