At least 13 dead in winter storm as Northeast digs out

By: ABC News
By: ABC News

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At least 13 deaths have been attributed to the winter storm that walloped the Northeast with snow overnight and delivered bone-chilling temperatures today. Much of the Northeast is getting bone-chilling temperatures in the aftermath of the storm.

Several deaths occurred because of bad conditions on the roadways, according to The Associated Press. And in western New York, a 71-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease reportedly froze to death after wandering from her rural home.

Though most of the snow had stopped falling by this morning, officials continued to warn residents against spending too much time outside.

Forecasters said temperatures had plummeted to well below freezing, and wind chill readings could hit minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia.

The temperatures were expected to become more moderate by Sunday, but a new arctic plunge was expected to hit the Midwest and eventually the Northeast next week, bringing more snow and subzero temperatures.

In this storm, the suburbs north of Boston were hit the hardest, with more than 2 feet of snow overnight, while other parts of the state were slammed with as much as 18 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

According to FlightAware.com earlier today, at least 2,200 flights had been canceled nationwide and there were about 3,000 total delays.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Cape Cod, coastal areas north and south of Boston and part of Maine, as well as New York's Long Island.

Most major cities in the Northeast had school cancellations, including New York City, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Newark and New Haven.

In Milwaukee, Wis., schools were expected to closed Monday because of the cold, and the governor was reported to be considering closing schools statewide.

New York City was slammed with 6 inches of snow and 33 mph wind gusts recorded at John F. Kennedy International Airport. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and ordered three major highways, stretching from Long Island to Albany, to close overnight during the height of the storm. The highways have since reopened.

Boxford, Mass., north of Boston, recorded more than 2 feet of snow. Boston and surrounding towns received 10 to 18 inches of snow.

The winter storm is also proving to be the first major test for New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, who was inaugurated Jan. 1.

De Blasio, then the city's public advocate, strongly criticized his predecessor's handling of a major blizzard that dropped 20 inches of snow on the city in 2010. Many outerborough residents were outraged after streets went unplowed for days.

"It would've been nice to have a nice calm fist day, but we have snow on our mind," de Blasio joked Thursday. "We are focused like a laser on protecting this city and getting everyone ready. We have all hands on deck."

It's quite the opposite for Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who is just days away from leaving office after 20 years as mayor.

"I guess Mother Nature wanted to give me one more gift -- a snowstorm," Menino said.

This same storm already ripped through many states east of the Mississippi, where it dropped up to a foot of snow on Michigan and more than a foot in parts of Illinois. The nasty weather prompted the cancellation Thursday of hundreds of flights at both Chicago airports.

Nearly 18 inches of snow fell in some of Chicago's northern suburbs, and more than 12 inches of snow were recorded at Midway International Airport.


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