US Blizzard: Warnings Of Flash Flooding

A major clear-up is under way after a blizzard battered the northeast US.

People in New England began the job of digging out from as much as a metre of snow, while emergency crews used snowmobiles to reach shivering motorists stranded overnight in New York's Long Island.

Many now fear heavy flooding when the snow begins to melt, and some residents in Massachusetts are being told to evacuate their homes.

In the town of Hull, a mandatory evacuation order for coastal areas was issued.

At least 11 deaths in the US and four in Canada have been blamed on the storm.

That included an 11-year-old boy in Boston who was overcome by carbon monoxide as he sat in a running car to keep warm while his father shovelled snow.

More than 220,000 homes and businesses were still without power late on Sunday, with utility companies predicting areas would remain in the dark until at least Tuesday.

Roads across the New York to Boston corridor of roughly 25 million people were impassable, while many cars remained stuck in drifts.

The snow was so deep that some people could not open their front doors.

"It's like lifting cement," said Michael Levesque, from Quincy, Massachusetts. "They say it's two feet, but I think it's more like three feet."

County official Steven Bellone, of Long Island where hundreds of drivers were caught on highways on Friday during the fast-moving storm, said: "We've never seen anything like this."

Eastern Long Island was slammed with as much as 30in (76cm) of snow

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee said that while the snow had stopped, the danger had not passed.

"People need to take this storm seriously, even after it's over. If you have any kind of heart condition, be careful with the shovelling."

However, the storm was not as bad as some of the forecasts led many to fear.

In New York, around 12in 30cm of snow was recorded in Central Park. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city had "dodged a bullet".