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Winter Storms Batter US

Winter storm advisories are in effect across much of the United States this week, as cities from the northwest to the northeast brace themselves for another bout of snow, sleet and ice.

Heavy snow is expected in the northwestern states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington through the Christmas holiday on Thursday. The National Weather Service says up to half a meter (20 inches) of snow could fall in Oregon, which was already hit by massive snowfalls earlier in the week.

The city of Gresham, Oregon, declared a state of emergency Monday as a result of the storms, calling in help from the National Guard. Oregon's Multnomah County and the Spokane area of Washington state are also under states of emergency.

Forecasters predict severe weather will also hit the central state of Illinois, the north-central states of Wisconsin, Montana and Michigan, and the Four Corners region of the southwestern states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The weather is expected to make air and road travel difficult through the holiday. At least five weather-related deaths were reported.

The storms are causing delays Tuesday at major airports in the eastern state of New Jersey and Illinois.

Snowy conditions temporarily stranded holiday air travelers in the northwest on Sunday, but airline schedules there were returning to normal today.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.