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Friday, January 3, 2014

Snowstorm lashes US: 1,600 flights cancelled, NY declares emergency


Boston: A winter storm slammed into the US northeast with howling winds and frigid cold, dumping nearly 2 feet (60cm) of snow in some parts and whipping up blizzard-like conditions on Friday. US airlines cancelled more than 2,300 flights nationwide ahead of the storm, especially at New York and Boston airports. 
    By Friday morning, about 1,600 flights were cancelled nationwide, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.com
    Governors in New York and New Jersey declared states of emergency, urging residents to stay at home. Hundreds of schools were shut down in Boston and New York, extending the holiday break for tens of thousands of students. 
    "This is nothing to be trifled with," New York governor Andrew Cuomo said. "People should seriously consider staying in their homes," he added. The storm has led to at least nine deaths as it sweeps across the eastern half of the US. 
    Slick roads have caused traffic deaths in Michigan, 
Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. A massive pile of salt fell on a worker at a Philadelphia storage facility, killing him. And authorities said that a woman with Alzheimer's disease froze to death after she wandered away from her rural New York home. 
    Forecasters said temperatures were plummeting to well below freezing, and wind chill readings could hit minus 23 degree celsius. 
    Outreach teams were searching streets in New York City and Boston for
homeless people at risk of freezing to death. 
    Some major highways in New York state were shut down overnight, and some commuter trains around New York City were operating on a reduced schedule. Amtrak planned to run trains on all of its northeast lines on Friday but operate on a modified schedule, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said. 
    New Jersey governor Chris Christie ordered nonessential state workers to stay home on Friday. AP

GROUNDED: Tourists leave a station during a snow storm in Boston. Winter storm dumped nearly 2 feet (60cm) of snow in some parts of US


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