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A look at the US winter storm

Published: Friday January 3, 2014 | 12:11 pm Comments 0

(AP):
Producing more than a foot of snow in spots, giving rise to wind gusts that threatened trees and power lines, and leaving bone-chilling cold in its wake, a winter storm that swept across the Midwest this week blew through the USA's Northeast and its biggest cities on Friday.


Here's a look at the storm:


SNOWY, WINDY AND COLD

In the Northeast, the storm appeared to save the most snow for Massachusetts, where more than 13 inches fell in Boston and almost 2 feet fell to the north in Topsfield. The temperature was 2 degrees in Boston on Friday morning but felt like minus-20 when gusty winds were taken into account. New York City's Central Park got 6 inches of snow, while across the city in the Ozone Park section of Queens, 10.5 inches fell. On suburban Long Island, as much as 11 inches fell and was accompanied by wind gusts as high as 40 mph. Parts of New Jersey saw at least 10 inches of snow.

In International Falls, Minn., renowned for its cold weather, residents considered a temperature hovering around zero a reprieve from Thursday's low of minus-43; the temperature was expected to dive down again during the weekend.


AT LEAST 9 DEAD

The storm was responsible for at least nine deaths across the country in the past few days, including a worker who was killed by a falling pile of road salt outside Philadelphia; a 79-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease who froze after wandering away from her home in western New York; and a 12-year-old car passenger who died when the vehicle driven by his 14-year-old friend crashed on a slick road in southwestern Michigan.


TRAVEL AND ACCIDENTS

By Friday morning, about 1,600 flights had been canceled nationwide. Major highways around New York City, including the New York State Thruway and the Long Island Expressway, reopened after being closed overnight. Accidents were minimal across the Northeast as residents appeared to largely heed officials' pleas to stay off the roads.

A tanker carrying crude oil crashed and went off a bridge Thursday on snowy Interstate 69 in Michigan, creating a toxic fire and forcing the evacuation of homes and businesses. In suburban Philadelphia, a 100-foot pile of road salt toppled over and trapped a worker who was operating a backhoe; the man died. In Indiana, a pickup truck collided with a charter bus loaded with casino patrons Wednesday, killing the pickup's driver and injuring 15 bus passengers. In Vermont, workers rescued an infant from a car crash by pulling the baby up a steep embankment; the child, a man and a woman were taken to a hospital.


POWER

Though the light, dry snow the storm produced didn't create much of a threat to power lines, officials had feared high winds would. By Friday, outages were minimal, with around 6,000 customers in the dark in the Washington-Baltimore area and only 200 powerless in Maine, where an ice storm last week affected 160,000 customers in the state.


CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is experimenting with beet juice as a way to treat icy roads in especially cold weather. Officials say chemicals in the juice might help road salt melt ice at lower temperatures than it usually can. The approach is also being used in Missouri.

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