Snowstorm leads to chaos in US

A powerful winter storm system pounded the American heartland before barreling into the Northeast, where residents faced high winds and heavy snow on Thursday that disrupted holiday travel, knocked out power to thousands of homes and were blamed in at least six deaths. More than 1,000 flights were cancelled or delayed on Wednesday, scores of motorists got stuck on icy roads or slid into drifts, and blizzard warnings were issued amid snowy gusts of 48 kmph that blanketed roads and windshields, at times causing whiteout conditions.

The system, which spawned Gulf Coast region tornadoes on Christmas Day, pushed through the Upper Ohio Valley and moved into the northeast. High Winds, snow and sleet slickened roads in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, causing dozens of minor accidents and spinouts. Forecasts called for 12 inches to 18 inches of snow inland from western New York to Maine into Thursday.

The National Weather Service said early on Thursday that snow was falling heavily in Pennsylvania, upstate New York and some New England states. Among the highest snow totals were up to 5 inches in southeastern Massachusetts, up to 6 inches in Connecticut, up to a foot in some Pennsylvania countries and up to 11 inches in some parts of western new York.

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