Winter storm grips U.S. Northeast with mix of heavy snow, freezing rain

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An intense winter storm will dump a mix of heavy snow and freezing rain on the U.S. Northeast on Friday, creating dangerous travel conditions while knocking out power to homes and businesses.

A region reaching from northern Ohio up through Pennsylvania and into New York state is expected to get 1/4 inch (.6 cm) of ice accumulation, while as much as a foot (30 cm) of snow was in the forecast to the north in New England through the day, the National Weather Service said.

The weather service issued ice and winter storm advisories, warning motorists that a thick layer of ice and blowing snow were expected to accumulate on roads throughout the day.

“Stay off the roads as much as possible. If you need to travel, slow down and don’t crowd the plows,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a tweet on Friday morning.

The buildup of ice could also down trees and power lines across the region, the weather service warned. As of Friday morning, nearly 20,000 homes and businesses in Ohio and another 16,000 in Pennsylvania were without power, according to Poweroutage.us.

Transportation officials in Pennsylvania placed speed and vehicle restrictions on several major highways across the state, urging motorists to avoid travel if possible. The state reported more than a dozen crashes and traffic incidents on Friday morning.

To the north, New Englanders braced for heavy snowfall at rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour throughout the day, which will greatly diminish visibility on roadways, making travel very difficult or impossible, the weather service said.

More than 500 flights in and out of Boston’s Logan International Airport were canceled as of Friday morning, while another 180 were canceled from and to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, one of the three major airports serving New York City, according to Flightaware.com.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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