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Storm cripples states after dumping snow, ice

February 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The storm that crippled much of the country has moved out after dumping snow and ice across dozens of states. Chicago recorded its third largest snowfall at 20.2 inches.

Wind chills dipped to nearly 30 below in parts of the nation's midsection early Thursday as the region began dealing with the storm's aftermath.

  • Heavy snow and ice also caused several buildings to collapse, including one in Easton, Mass. Luckily everyone inside the building got out before it came crashing down.
  • Some places in the Northeast that have gotten more snow so far this winter than they usually get the whole season are running out of places to put it. In Portland, Maine, the downtown snow-storage area was expected to reach capacity after this week's storm - the first time in three years that has happened.
  • The system was blamed for at least 12 deaths, including a homeless man who burned to death on Long Island as he tried to light cans of cooking fuel and a woman in Oklahoma City who was killed while being pulled behind a truck on a sled that hit a guard rail.
  • Airport operations slowed to a crawl nationwide, and flight cancellations reached 13,000 for the week, making this system the most disruptive so far this winter. A massive post-Christmas blizzard led to about 10,000 cancellations.
  • Chicago public schools canceled classes for a second straight day. The city's iconic Lake Shore Drive reopened before dawn Thursday after crews worked overnight to clear snow and stranded vehicles. Drivers had abandoned hundreds of vehicles stopped in their tracks by snow that drifted as high as the windshields late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.

Utility crews raced to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where freezing rain and ice brought down electrical lines.

Rolling blackouts were implemented across Texas, including in Super Bowl host city Dallas, because of high demand during a rare ice storm. The outages would not affect Cowboys Stadium in suburban Arlington, said Jeamy Molina, a spokeswoman for utility provider Oncor. But other Super Bowl facilities, such as team hotels, were not exempt, she said.

Snowfall totals this winter are off the charts along parts of the Interstate 95 corridor between Boston and Philadelphia.

Newark, N.J., was hit with 62 inches of snow through Jan. 27, compared with the seasonal average of 25 inches. In New York City, 56 inches of snow has fallen on Central Park, compared to the 22-inch seasonal average.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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