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February 6, 2014

Lights out for 1M as winter storm slams Northeast

NORMAN — More than a million homes and businesses were left in darkness and cold Wednesday after snow, sleet and freezing rain moved into the Northeast.

The region’s second winter storm of the week canceled classes, closed government and business offices and sent cars and trucks sliding on slippery roads and highways. Around a foot of snow fell in some states.

Moving in overnight from the Midwest, where it wreaked similar havoc, the storm tested the region already battered by a series of heavy snows and below-freezing temperatures this winter.

· Pennsylvania: Ice and snow brought down trees and limbs and knocked out power to some 750,000 customers. Most of the outages were in the Philadelphia suburbs, and PECO, the major utility company, warned it could be the weekend before some people get their lights back on. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed around Harrisburg for more than 13 hours after a fatal crash Tuesday night.

· New York: Up to a foot of snow fell in places upstate; hundreds of schools upstate were closed. Four inches of snow and a quarter-inch of ice covered New York City. The state deployed 3,500 tons of stockpiled road salt to New York City, while plows and other heavy equipment aimed to keep roads clear.

· 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 operated on a storm schedule. Buses and trains were cross-honoring tickets.

· Oklahoma: Classes were canceled at many Oklahoma schools, including Oklahoma City, because of subzero wind chills that reached 10 degrees below zero.

· Michigan: The state received more than 6 inches of snow in some areas, snarling traffic and keeping towing operators busy. AAA Michigan got at least 1,100 calls for service Wednesday morning. Authorities reported several multi-vehicle crashes after snow fell along Interstate 94 in the Jackson area; traffic wrecks closed parts of Interstate 69 around Flint. The storm also snarled traffic in southern Michigan, including Detroit. Two planes became stuck on taxiways at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

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