NEW YORK - A powerful blizzard hit the northeastern United States on Monday, disrupting air, rail and bus travel and forcing motorists to deal with blowing snow and icy roads at the end of the busy Christmas weekend. Gusting winds kicked up formidable snowdrifts further crippling an entire New York metropolitan region trying to dig out and causing nightmare delays without much of a sense of when the conditions would improve. Officials urged anyone who did not have to drive to stay off roads in the region, where high winds pushed snow into deep drifts across streets, railroads and runways. Nearly a foot and a half of snow was expected to fall by the time the storm wore out later in the day. New York City, eastern New Jersey and western Long Island were the hardest hit by the storm, which unleashed powerful winds and dumped up to 29 inches of snow in some parts, the US National Weather Service said. New York Citys John F Kennedy and LaGuardia airports remain closed Monday, as was northern New Jerseys Newark Liberty International Airport. A spokesman said Bostons Logan International Airport could take days to get back to normal. Some travellers slept in airport terminals, while others sat on grounded planes. Airlines scrambled to rebook passengers on thousands of cancelled flights - more than 1,400 out of the New York City areas three major airports alone - but said they didnt expect normal service to resume until Tuesday. Amtrak passenger rail service between New York and Boston was suspended over the weekend but expected to resume on a limited basis early on Monday. They (the trains) would run on the hour but not as many as would run on a normal weekday, Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole told Fox News. He added that full service could possibly be restored on Tuesday if the snow stopped. At least 2,000 flights were cancelled on Sunday. Reuters adds: Trade on the New York Stock Exchange opened promptly at 9:30am and the US Treasury Department said auctions of three- and six-month bills and of two-year notes would proceed as scheduled. After 17 hours of snowfall dropped 20 inches (50 cm) on New Yorks Central Park, the city was covered in snow - knee deep in many areas with giant piles on the sidewalks where snow ploughs cleared the streets. Some motorists who were able to dig their cars out from the snow were left spinning their wheels on unploughed streets. Ive never seen anything like this, said John Harris of New Rochelle, New York, after getting out of a taxi in the city. Normally it takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to drive to work but I was stuck in traffic for almost two hours before I decided to just get off at the nearest exit and get on a train. Then I find out theres no Metro-North (commuter) trains moving so I end up shelling out around $40 to take a cab to work. If desks were down 30 percent, 40 percent anyway (between Christmas and the New Year), they are probably down even more today, said David Ader, head of government bond strategy at CRT Capital in Stamford, Connecticut. Today, what do we have? We have nothing. New York City subway traffic was sporadic and the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road commuter rails connecting the city to the suburbs were suspended. One New York subway train was stuck on a frozen track for several hours before the passengers were rescued. Amtrak passenger rail service between New York and Boston was suspended on Sunday night but resumed with a limited schedule on Monday morning. Its one thing if you shut down a few trains for service but how on earth are you going to shut down all the trains during rush hour? I cant believe this, man, these people (in the transit authority) act like none of us have jobs to go to, said Chris Alvarez, one of about 100 people huddled in a Metro-North station in Harlem.