A deadly winter storm that dropped twisters onto the South on Christmas Day raced across the Northeast on Thursday, bringing with it heavy snowfall, high winds and more canceled flights.
Over the last two days, the storm has dropped heavy amounts of snow, sleet or rain on a vast swath of the country. High winds toppled trees, twisters tore up homes and icy roads became death traps.
On Thursday morning, the heaviest snow was falling across northern New York and into northern New England, the National Weather Service said. Coastal flood advisories were also in effect from Long Island to southern Maine.
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More than 700 flights had been canceled across the nation by noon EST on Thursday, mostly to and from airports currently or previously in the storm’s path, according to the airline monitoring website Flightstats.com.
A Southwest Airlines jet with 129 passengers and five crew members got stuck in the mud on New York’s Long Island after it swerved off a taxiway Thursday morning, the Associated Press said. There were no injuries and a Southwest spokesman said it was not clear if heavy overnight rain contributed to the incident.
The storm system has been blamed for at least 15 deaths so far, including those of two children who died Christmas Day when the car they were in crashed head-on into an SUV on an icy Arkansas road.
A number of other accidents contributed to the toll: An 18-year-old woman died after her car crashed into an oncoming snow plow on a Ohio highway; two people on a scooter lost control and died after slamming into a pickup truck in Evansville, Ind., and in northwest Pennsylvania, a man died in a car accident on an icy road, the Associated Press said.
On Wednesday night, a man was struck and killed while checking on a disabled vehicle near Allentown, Pa., the AP said, while Virginia and Kentucky each reported two fatal crashes.
Some areas of New York and Pennsylvania have seen more than a foot of snow since Christmas Day, the National Weather Service said. Snowfall has predominantly hit the interior portions of the Northeast, while coastal regions have dealt more with rain and high winds.
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