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16 die in US northeast winter storm

 
 
 
 
 
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A resident in Greenfield, Massachusetts clears snow off his car, December 27, 2012.

A powerful winter storm has pounded the US northeast, bringing heavy snow and strong winds across several states and killing several people.

The storm, which has claimed some 16 lives so far, hit the northeast on Thursday after it wreaked havoc on a region stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.

The tempest has also led to the cancellation of over 3,000 flights since Christmas Day, including some 746 on Thursday. Its high winds caused air traffic delays in New York City.

“Winter weather has arrived for many parts of the state, so as a precaution we have opened the emergency operation center to coordinate response efforts using all state and local resources,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

So far the heaviest snowfall in the northeast has been reported in northern New York, where 16 inches (40 centimeters) of snow covered the ground in the town of Edwards, near the border with Canada.

The storm also had dumped record snow in Arkansas. It left more than 200,000 people in Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas without power on Wednesday.

State of emergency has been declared by the governors of Mississippi and Alabama.

Meanwhile, the American weather forecasting website AccuWeather has said that a new storm is to hit parts of New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Ohio valley on the last weekend of 2012.

The new storm “will bring more snow to areas that received snow from the post-Christmas storm and will bring snow to some areas that got rain or mostly rain,” said Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

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