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    Blizzard wallops U.S. Northeast, knocks out power, snarls travel

    A powerful blizzard battered the Northeast on Thursday, knocking out power for tens of thousands of people and snarling travel amid a long cold snap that has gripped much of the United States for more than a week and killed more than a dozen people.
    Thousands of flights were canceled, firefighters scrambled to rescue motorists from flooded streets in Boston, snow plows and salt trucks rumbled along roads and highways, and New York City’s two main airports halted flights due to whiteout conditions.
    Commuters who braved the storm worried that they could be stranded later in the day.
    “I don’t know where I’ll stay tonight if I get stuck, probably with my boss,” said Ran Richardson, 55, of Malden, Massachusetts, as he waited for a Boston subway to take him to training for his job as a Chinese-English translator.
    Schools were closed through much of the region, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said schools in his city would remain closed on Friday.
    Blizzard warnings were in effect along the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine. The National Weather Service forecast winds up to 70 miles per hour (113 km per hour), which downed power lines.
    Almost 80,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast and Southeast, where the storm struck on Wednesday, were without power.
    Up to 18 inches (46 cm) of snow was forecast for Boston and coastal areas of northern New England. Officials feared fast-dropping temperatures after the storm passed would turn remaining snow on roadways to ice.
    The storm was powered by a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters were referring to as bombogenesis or a “bomb cyclone” and which brought high winds and swift, heavy snowfall.
    The wintry weather has been blamed for at least 14 deaths in the past few days, including four fatalities in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas due to cold.

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