January 2

Fierce storm takes hold of region as blizzard warning is issued

Airlines cancel thousands of flights as the Northeast braces for the brunt of the storm Thursday night.

By Rodrique Ngowi And John Christoffersen
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Milo Bloom, 10, skis over a snowbank next to a parked car during a snowstorm Thursday in Portland. Strong winds are creating blizzard-like conditions. A wind chill factor of 30 degrees below zero is expected Friday.

The Associated Press/Robert F. Bukaty

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Marianne Stewart of Albany crosses a road as snow falls on Thursday in Albany, N.Y. The National Weather Service said some areas from Buffalo to Albany could get a total of up to 14 inches by the time the coastal storm moved out Friday morning.

The Associated Press

Additional Photos Below

As the storm approached, a worker at a suburban Philadelphia salt storage facility was killed Thursday afternoon when a 100-foot-tall pile of road salt fell and crushed him. Falls Township police said the man was trapped while operating a backhoe. There was no immediate word on what may have caused the accident.

Interior southern New England and New York state could get up to a foot of snow. New York City was expecting 8 inches, while Philadelphia could see 3 to 7.

Amtrak plans to run trains on all of its Northeast lines on Friday but will operate on a modified schedule, said spokeswoman Christina Leeds.

"There's not as many people anticipating travel tomorrow (Friday), so we're operating on a reduced schedule," she said.

In New York, Con Ed spokesman Sidney Alvarez said the utility was expecting the snow to be powdery rather than wet and heavy, "but with any type of snow, you're looking at extra weight on branches that can snap and bring power lines down."

Douglass Bibule shopped for rock salt and other supplies at a home improvement store in Watertown, Mass.

"Well, there will be some shoveling that I will have to do and some sanding. I've got to go home and do some stretching exercises to make sure I don't hurt myself while doing that, and do a little shopping to make sure that we have all the supplies that we need. We need food because we have three older children at home."

In Maine, the cold didn't deter Andrew Kosak from swinging by Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick to take advantage of a cold-weather promotion: The price of a gelato drops 1 percent for every degree below freezing.

"It's never too cold for gelato," Kosak quipped after receiving a 36-percent discount that reflected the minus-4 temperature during an outing with his wife and two daughters.

As the storm pushed eastward on New Year's Day and Thursday, it dropped as much as 18 inches on suburban Chicago and up to 10 inches on Michigan, prompting the cancellation Wednesday of hundreds of flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Below-zero cold is expected across the region over the next few days.

AAA Michigan said it received 3,100 calls Thursday from drivers dealing with spinouts, cars in ditches and dead batteries. Accidents and delays were also reported from Missouri to New Hampshire.

"Anything below 25 degrees and the salt isn't nearly as effective," said Becky Allmeroth, a maintenance engineer with the state of Missouri, where crews were mixing chemicals and beet juice with salt to try to make roads passable.

Authorities said the weather may have been a factor in a fatal crash Wednesday evening involving a pickup and a bus carrying casino patrons in Indiana. Police said the truck's driver was killed and 15 bus passengers were injured in the collision on a snow-covered and slushy highway in Rolling Prairie.

The weather also was blamed for the death of a woman in Kentucky struck by a car as she walked on an icy road where her car had slid into a guardrail.

 

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Additional Photos

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A salt and sand road crew regroups under a bridge as snow falls in Andover, Mass., on Thursday. Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area.

The Associated Press

  


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