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Storm Blows Through East; 16 Dead

The heaviest snowfall is expected to hit northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and inland areas of New England
Updated Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 3:57 p.m. ET

A truck parks on the side of the Ohio Turnpike in North Ridgeville, Ohio, during the start of a major winter storm on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) - A winter storm that has killed more than a dozen people across the eastern half of the United States plodded across the Northeast on Thursday, trapping jet planes in snow or mud and frustrating travelers still trying to return home after Christmas.

The storm, which was blamed for at least 16 deaths farther south and west, brought plenty of wind, rain and snow to the Northeast when it blew in Wednesday night. Lights generally remained on and cars mostly stayed on the road, unlike many harder-hit places including the southern state of Arkansas, where 200,000 homes and businesses lost power.

Photos on SKYE: Massive Winter Storm Hits Northeast
By afternoon, the precipitation had stopped in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, though snow continued to fall in upstate New York and northern New England. Parts of snow-savvy New Hampshire expected as much as 18 inches (450 millimeters).

The Northeast's heaviest snowfall was expected to be in northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and inland sections of several New England states before the storm heads into Canada on Friday, National Weather Service spokesman David Roth said.

While the East Coast's largest cities - New York, Philadelphia and Boston - saw mostly high winds and cold rain, other areas experienced a messy mix of rain and snow that slowed commuters and those still heading home from holiday trips. Some inbound flights were delayed in Philadelphia and New York's LaGuardia, but the weather wasn't leading to delays at other major East Coast airports.

On New York's Long Island, a Southwest Airlines jet bound for Tampa, Florida, veered off a taxiway and got stuck in mud Thursday morning. Officials said there were no injuries to the 129 passengers and five crew members. Though the area received heavy rain overnight, Southwest spokesman Paul Flanigan said it wasn't clear whether that played a role.

In Pittsburgh, a flight that landed safely during the storm Wednesday night got stuck in several inches of snow on the tarmac about two hours. The American Airlines flight arrived between 8 and 9 p.m., but then ran over a snow patch and got stuck.

Earlier, the storm system spawned tornadoes on Christmas along the Gulf Coast, startling people like Bob and Sherry Sims of Mobile, Alabama, who had just finished dinner.

Deaths from wind-toppled trees also were reported in Texas and Louisiana, but car crashes caused most of the fatalities. Two people were killed in Kentucky crashes, a New York man was killed after his pickup truck skidded on an icy road in northwest Pennsylvania, and an Ohio teenager died after losing control of her car and smashing into an oncoming snowplow.

In Arkansas, where two people died in a head-on collision, some of those who lost electricity could be without it for as long as a week because of snapped poles and wires after ice and 10 inches (250 millimeters) of snow coated power lines, said the state's largest utility, Entergy Arkansas.

Farther east, the storm knocked out power to more than 7,000 homes and businesses in Maryland, and utilities were preparing for more outages as the wind picked up. In New Jersey, which is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy's destruction, gusts of more than 70 mph (112 kph) were recorded along the coast, and the weather service issued a flood warning for some coastal areas.

Schools on break and workers taking holiday vacations meant that many people could avoid messy commutes, but those who had to travel were urged to avoid it.

Few truckers were stopping into a TravelCenters of America truck stop in Willington, Connecticut, near the Massachusetts border early Thursday. Usually 20 to 30 an hour stop in overnight, but high winds and slushy roads had cut that to two to three people an hour.

"A lot of people are staying off the road," said Louis Zalewa, 31, who works there selling gasoline and staffing the store. "I think people are being smart."

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Massive Winter Storm Batters Northeast


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It's winter for cryin' out loud.... What'd ya expect? Happens every year...

December 28 2012 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's winter, I live in Florida. It's sunny and 75 degrees :) :) :)

December 27 2012 at 1:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I live in Ohio, near the area pictured in this AOL article. This doesn't even begin to show the amount of snow we received, we have over a foot!

December 27 2012 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Eden's comment

....So far this year, we have received 12 to 17 feet of snow in Calif. Sierra Nevada mountains....these doom and gloom stories are just that, stories....

December 27 2012 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in Ohio, right in the area of the picture AOL used for this article. The picture shown doesn't even begin to show how much snow we have, we have over a foot!

December 27 2012 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We all tend to live in whatever state we choose! We take the good with the bad. We live for our jobs and families. We live in the most wonderful country of all. We love and support neighbors always. Sometimes we even help others outside of our personal realm. That is called " Love thy Neighbor!".
Tis the season to be charitable, be the person you strive for your children to be! Let nature take care of it's self and let God handle all else! Happy New Year to us all.

December 27 2012 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We have been very fortunate here in N.J. So far this winter every time a storm has started out as snow the temp. has risen to change it to rain. Nothing on the ground here in central N.J. I think that the northwestern part of the state had a significant amount as always.

December 27 2012 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 27 2012 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

....I guess AOL weather expects sunny blue skies year round and that every storm is a threat....

December 27 2012 at 12:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It was only the OTHER day around Monday or Tuesday when I had noticed what the weather was going to be like. The city where I live has gotten a good amount of snow since Tuesday night. Soon, we'll be having a snow and rainy mixture, which could spell DISASTER for some people.

December 27 2012 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So since they enjoy the snow you want them to die? Nice.

December 27 2012 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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