Nor'easter Begins Wreaking Havoc

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Nor'easter Begins Wreaking Havoc
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Nor'easter Begins Wreaking Havoc (ABC News)

The winter snowstorm that tormented the Midwest has become a major, slow-moving nor'easter that has already brought snow, coastal flooding and whipping winds to the Northeast.

Parts of the New Jersey coastline were already underwater Wednesday night, which prompted voluntary evacuations in Toms River and Brick while the Shrewsbury River flooded local streets in Sea Bright, according to ABC News station WABC.

Overnight, the highest wind gust recorded off New Jersey was 71 mph, and 30 to 50 mph winds are expected to last until Friday morning, which could bring 13-foot waves just offshore.

The high winds are expected to bring down power lines as more than 2,000 people are without power in New Jersey as of 4 a.m., WABC reported.

Overnight, snow started to fall in parts of Long Island. New York City is expecting a snowy, rainy mix with a chilly wind today with another round of snow in the forecast tonight.

New York City is expected to get up to 3 inches of snow by the time the storm system moves out Friday morning, with some higher storm total amounts possible on eastern Long Island. Boston may see 2 to 4 inches, with higher totals inland where a winter storm warning has been issued from Worcester to just north of Providence.

Winter warnings are posted in seven Northeast states. The biggest snowfall totals will come Friday, and parts of New England could see more than 6 inches of snow.

Still shaken from superstorm Sandy, those along the shore are scrambling to protect the fragile coastline from the storm surge and beach erosion.

Diane Harkoff owns a restaurant along the shore in Suffolk County, N.Y. She still hasn't gotten over the amount of devastation caused by Sandy last October.

"I want the water to stay in its place. I want a miracle, that's what I want. I don't want to go through this ever, ever again," Harkoff told ABC News Radio.

More than 440 flights have been canceled for today, according to FlightAware.com. New York's LaGuardia Airport has the most cancellations, followed by Newark Liberty International in New Jersey. This storm system has caused headaches for travelers, as more than 4,000 flights have been canceled so far this week.

This winter storm has already socked much of America's heartland. Virginia declared a state of emergency: More than 250,000 people were without power at one point as tree branches gave way under the weight of heavy snow.

Parts of the state saw 20 inches of snow, and the National Guard was brought in to clear roads, where accidents piled up.

In North Carolina Wednesday, firefighters say the roads are dangerous because they had rain before the temperatures began to plunge. That caused a layer of ice to form under the snow.

Bobbi Havron was a passenger in a vehicle involved in bad accident in the town of Boonie.

"I was holding my breath and closed my eyes and just counted the bangs. He hit us about two times in the front. And then he slammed into the side of us and pushed us down the embankment, and I just kept praying that we weren't on the other side of the hill where there is a drop-off," Havron told ABC News Radio.

The current storm led to at least four deaths, the AP reported. A semi-trailer slid off a snow-covered interstate in western Wisconsin, killing two people. A central Indiana woman died when a semi-trailer plowed into her car after she lost control merging onto the highway, and a man from Columbia City in northeast Indiana was killed when his snowmobile left the road, headed across a field and crashed into a wire fence.

ABC News Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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