Sub-zero storm lashes US

Nine killed near Boston; Nearly 1,000 scheduled flights cancelled.

Washington: Snow, high winds and a glacial chill hit the northeastern United States on Friday as a blast of brutal wintry weather bore down on many states and major cities, snarling air traffic.

Temperatures in New York were expected to drop to -3 degree ºC, according to forecasts.Tracking system Flight-Aware said that some 2,200 flights within, into or out of the United States had been canceled so far.

The national weather service issued winter storm warnings and advisories for a huge area spanning states from Chicago trough New York, New England and even the US capital, Washington.

Severe weather was also hitting the country's Midwest, dropping a blanket of snow and cancelling flights at Chicago’s bustling O’Hare Intern-ational Airport.

The northeastern winter warning was in effect in New York from Thursday evening through midday Friday, with forecasters predicting four to eight inches of snow and winds that co-uld reach up to 56 kmph.

The storm is predicted to dump 6 to 12 inches of snow over a large area beginning in northern Pennsylvania and upstate New York to a large part of New Jersey and New England.

In Boston, the storm claimed at least nine lives. Slick roads have caused traffic deaths in Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.

A massive pile of salt fell on a worker at a Philadelphia storage facility, killing him. And authorities say a woman with Alzheimer’s disease froze to death after she wandered away from her rural New York home. New York City residents were urged to stay off the streets so the Sanitation Department could work.

Officials said that 450 salt spreaders had been out since early Thursday morning and 1,700 sanitation trucks had been outfitted with plows.

In neighboring New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency in anticipation of what was to come.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, meanwhile, ordered state employees to leave work early on Thursday to alleviate the evening commute.

Workers were not expected back at their desks until mid-morning. Shops and other businesses were also asked to do the same.

( Source : agencies )
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