Massive winter storm slams Northeast with snow, 2 die in region

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Massive winter storm bears down on Northeast

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Massive winter storm bears down on Northeast

Massive winter storm bears down on Northeast
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A late-winter snowstorm bore down on the Northeast on Tuesday, blanketing swaths of the region in snow. Because the storm shifted inland from its originally projected path, the New York City area got dramatically less snow than expected.

The storm, which stretched from Washington, D.C., to New England, halted school, work and travel for millions of Americans, and two people died in the region as a result of weather conditions created by it.

An elderly man was struck by a snow plow and killed in East Hartford, Connecticut, and a 16-year-old girl whose sedan skidded out of control, died after striking a tree in New Hampshire.

Blizzard warnings were issued in parts of nine states in the densely populated Northeast. The hardest hit areas have been in eastern Pennsylvania, northwestern New Jersey and upstate New York, which received 1 to 2 feet of snow. Five states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania — declared states of emergency.

Philadelphia and parts of New York City broke daily records for snowfall, while Atlantic City, New Jersey, a city that has long battled flooding, received over 3 inches of rain, breaking a daily record in that category.

The storm comes less than a week before the start of spring.

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The latest snowfall numbers and blizzard warnings

The storm system made a significant shift inland, leading blizzard warnings in the highly populated coastal metropolitan areas to be canceled.

Blizzard warnings are in effect in nine states, from Pennsylvania to Maine. The highest snowfall levels are expected in the Poconos in Pennsylvania, the Catskill Mountains in New York and the Berkshires in Massachusetts, as well as in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The Poconos had 2 feet of snow as of this afternoon.

A blizzard warning was canceled for New York City after the storm shifted west. Seven inches of snow fell in New York City as of this afternoon, while New York City's northwest suburbs have seen over 1 foot. The area, which was forecast to receive up to 20 inches of snow, was also hit with sleet.

At least 20 inches of snow was observed in parts of eastern Pennsylvania, but Philadelphia faced just 4 inches of snow.

Gusts topped 60 mph in New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Midday today, the heaviest snow was expected to move across New England, up to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

From Hartford, Connecticut, to the Boston area, where it is still snowing, snowfall totals so far range from 5 to 15 inches.

Parts of eastern Massachusetts have seen explosive gusts reaching 70 miles per hour.

In Hingham, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, a 60-foot pine tree crashed into a toddler's bedroom, ABC affiliate WCVB reported. The family was downstairs at the time, the station reported.

New York shifted resources from NYC to central NY

New York state shifted its snow-battling resources from New York City to the central part of the state after the storm moved west, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference this morning.

"Mother Nature is an unpredictable lady sometimes. She was unpredictable once again today," he said. "The forecast said the storm would hit New York City and Long Island the heaviest ... The way the weather pattern is actually shaping up, the storm has moved more westward."

The hardest-hit part of the state is now expected to be central New York, which could see blizzardlike conditions and up to 30 inches of snow, Cuomo said.

While New York City escaped the brunt of the storm, roads and sidewalks are slippery and dangerous, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference this afternoon. In New York City, where schools were closed today, he urged residents to stay inside "while we ride out this storm."

Cuomo warned that because New York City and Long Island were seeing sleet, the Wednesday morning commute could be more difficult because of icing.

New York City subway service on aboveground sections was suspended today and is expected to resume at 6 p.m. All subway trains made local stops today, and express service is set to resume Wednesday at 7 a.m. The city's buses were running today on limited service and should to return to normal schedules Wednesday at 5 a.m.

Connecticut prepares for up to 2 feet

In eastern Connecticut, expected snowfall totals vary widely, from 5 to 10 inches in the eastern part of the state to 12 to 24 inches in central Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy said this morning.

A statewide travel ban was issued Monday, and Malloy said residents appear to be complying. Buses were canceled, and he emphasized that it's important to keep the roads clear, other than for essential travel.

Connecticut's state police and National Guard had extra personnel ready to assist motorists who need assistance, he said.

New Hampshire snowfall could reach 4 inches per hour

In New Hampshire, the storm was expected to bring 1 to 2 feet of snow, with strong winds and snowfall at up to 4 inches per hour.

Perry Plummer, the state's director of homeland security and emergency management, urged drivers to stay off the roads.

"The rapid rate of snowfall, coupled with strong wind gusts, will create quickly changing conditions with low to no visibility," he said. "Our biggest concern right now is the treacherous driving conditions ... We’re asking everyone to avoid travel when possible."

Travel largely out of the question

As of 5 p.m., the weather prompted at least 6,163 flights in the U.S. to be canceled and an additional 1,719 to be delayed.

New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport suffered the most canceled flights, with 1,028.

At least 885 flights for tomorrow have already been canceled.

Operations are slowly resuming across Northeast and Mid-Atlantic airports this afternoon.

Amtrak shut down service between New York City and Boston, while its service between Washington, D.C., and New York City was running on a modified schedule.

Today 2,932 schools, universities, businesses and government offices across nine states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were scheduled to be closed or have delayed openings. Schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts were affected the most, with 914 and 630 closings or delays scheduled, respectively. Boston schools will be closed Wednesday.

Damage in the Midwest

The weather system dumped snow on swaths of the Midwest on Monday before moving east.

Icy roads in Chicago led to two car wrecks early today that involved 34 vehicles.

Seven people were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries due to those incidents, which occurred on the Kennedy Expressway, officials said.

Separately, four men died while removing snow in southeastern Wisconsin, where snowfall topped 12 inches in some areas. The men were 64 to 76 years old, according to ABC Milwaukee affiliate WISN-TV.

ABC News' Dominick Proto, Whitney Lloyd, Aaron Katersky, Max Golembo and Melissa Griffin contributed to this report.

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