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October 31, 2014

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Lights out for 1 million as winter storm slams Northeast

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Richard Drew / AP

U.S. Parks Service employee Danny Merced clears snow from the steps of Federal Hall, in New York’s Financial District, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. New York City’s sanitation commissioner says some secondary streets still need plowing but overall snow removal was going well. Around 6 inches of snow are expected in parts of the metropolitan area on Wednesday.

Winter Weather

Pedestrians make their way through a slushand water at an intersection in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Around 6 inches of snow are expected in parts of the metropolitan area on Wednesday. Launch slideshow »

Winter-weary residents of the Northeast contended with another dose of snow, sleet and freezing rain Wednesday.

The second winter storm of the week canceled classes, closed government and business offices, and caused more than 1 million power outages across the region after wreaking similar havoc Tuesday in the Midwest.

The snow was expected to reach a foot or more in some places Wednesday. Combined with freezing rain and sleet, it made driving treacherous.

Here’s a look at what’s going on in some of the affected states:

Pennsylvania

Icy conditions knocked out power to about 750,000 customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania and caused school and legislative delays. as well as speed reductions on major roadways.

Falling trees became a hazard for motorists.

The great bulk of the outages were in the five-county Philadelphia region, most of them in the suburbs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation dropped speed limits to 45 mph on a number of roads.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Administration reported delays and some cancellations on suburban Philadelphia routes, while Amtrak suspended its Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg service because of downed trees on wires and along tracks.

New York

New York state deployed more than 2,000 plows and other pieces of heavy equipment to keep roads clear during a storm that has forced the closure of one major highway and hundreds of schools upstate. Up to a foot of snow fell in some upstate areas, while lesser amounts and a coating of ice were expected in New York City.

A 65-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders was closed to all vehicles.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority says Metro-North Railroad service was reduced by 18 percent on morning trains.

New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency and state offices were closed for non-essential employees, as the state got snow in northern parts, sleet and freezing rain in some areas, and all rain in southern counties.

Tens of thousands of customers were without power, and schools were closed or delayed.

NJ Transit was operating on a storm schedule. Buses and trains were cross-honoring tickets.

Rhode Island

Nearly all schools in Rhode Island were closed.

State Police responded to 16 accidents before 8:45 a.m., after which road conditions appeared to be improving, with snow turning to sleet and rain in some areas. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority warned of delays.

Connecticut

Connecticut's governor and legislative leaders agreed to delay the start of the General Assembly's annual session from Wednesday to Thursday because of snow.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy also ordered a delayed opening for state offices on Wednesday. Many schools were closed.

Metro-North canceled and combined some trains on the New Haven Line.

Massachusetts

The snowstorm hit western portions of the state in the predawn hours, leading Boston, Worcester and Springfield, among other cities, to close schools and ban street parking to prepare for snow removal.

Gov. Deval Patrick told all non-essential state employees working in the executive branch to stay home.

Kentucky

Freezing rain and ice that moved through Kentucky overnight left thousands of people without power.

According to the Public Service Commission, most of the outages were reported in Jefferson County, which had about 10,000 customers without power early Wednesday.

The National Weather Service reported the winter storm that hit Tuesday evening left about a quarter-inch of ice over much of the central and northern regions of the state.

The weather led several schools systems to cancel classes.

Ohio

Most of Ohio was hit with another bout or heavy snow and freezing rain, closing hundreds of schools and creating extremely hazardous driving conditions.

Much of the state was slammed with 4 to 8 inches of snow overnight. Many counties declared snow emergencies.

The National Weather Service said most Ohio cities already have seen anywhere from 15 to 30 inches more snow than is normal at this stage of winter in about 10 significant storms.

Michigan

AAA Michigan got at least 1,100 calls for service as of Wednesday morning, with the heaviest volume during the rush-hour commute.

Authorities reported several multivehicle crashes after several inches of snow along Interstate 94 in the Jackson area, including some with injuries, and crashes closed portions of Interstate 69 in the Flint area.

The storm also snarled traffic in southern Michigan, including the Detroit area, with accidents reported in Grand Rapids and Saginaw.

Two planes became stuck on taxiways at snowy Detroit Metropolitan Airport, requiring trucks to push or pull the regional Delta jets out of the snow.

Illinois

A Chicago runner was credited with helping save a man who fell into icy Lake Michigan with his dog.

Adam Dominik says he found twine and anchored it around himself while throwing the other end in the water, pulling the man onto nearby rocks. Meanwhile, a skier called 911.

Rescuers pulled the man the rest of the way to safety before loading him on a makeshift gurney.

He was taken to a hospital to be treated for severe hypothermia. He and his dog are expected to recover.

Wisconsin

Severe winter conditions caused officials to ask thousands of homeowners in far northern Wisconsin to leave their faucets running 24 hours a day to prevent water pipes and sewer lines from freezing.

The 9,000 Rhinelander residents won't be charged for using the extra water. Temperatures in the area are expected to be below zero for much of the week.

Iowa

Authorities say road conditions may have contributed to a vehicle collision in Des Moines that killed one person.

Kansas

Gov. Sam Brownback ordered state offices in the Topeka area closed for a second consecutive day because of a winter storm.

The Legislature also canceled all of its meetings Wednesday.

Authorities blamed slick conditions for a two-car crash in southeast Kansas that killed two people and said a third traffic fatality also appeared to be weather-related.

The Kansas National Guard established nine teams that were prepared to assist motorists who were stranded or to transport medical and emergency personnel.

Oklahoma

Classes were canceled at many Oklahoma schools, including Oklahoma City, because of wind chill values that reached 10 degrees below zero.

Missouri

A Southwest Airlines jet arriving from Denver got stuck in a snow bank Tuesday evening at Kansas City International Airport. A Southwest spokesman said all 55 passengers on Flight 305, a Boeing 737, were placed on buses and taken to the terminal.

Fatalities

In Kansas, two traffic deaths Tuesday south of Pittsburg in Crawford County were blamed on the weather; a third, near Hesston, was believed weather related.

Power Outages

Pennsylvania, 750,000; Maryland, 140,000; New Jersey, 62,000; Arkansas, 48,000; Kentucky, 10,000; New York, 8,000; Delaware, 6,000; Indiana, 2,500; Connecticut, 300.

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