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Major Winter Storm Heads Into Northeastern US

A major winter storm is taking aim at the northeastern United States, after ravaging much of the upper Midwest with high winds, Arctic temperatures and the new year's first significant snowfall.

Blizzard warnings were issued Thursday for large parts of New England, with Boston expecting up to 35 centimeters of snow driven by wind gusts of nearly 80 kilometers an hour.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and ordered several major highways in the central Hudson Valley shut down from midnight to 5 a.m. local time Friday. Airports across the region canceled hundreds of flights and commerce was expected to slow to a crawl by early Friday. A flight-tracking website said more than 1,600 flights had been grounded since the storm struck the Midwest earlier in the week.

Temperatures across a wide swath of the Northeast were expected to plummet below -20 degrees Celsius and remain there for much of Friday. Burlington, Vermont braced for temperatures of -25, as did Montreal, Quebec to the north.



Meanwhile, the upper Midwest remained in a deep freeze, with temperatures as low as -41 degrees Celsius settling over the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.

Forecasters measured as much as 45 centimeters of snow on the ground in suburbs north of Chicago since New Year's Eve.

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