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January 3, 2014

Busy winter storm brings snow, cold to Northeast

BOSTON — A blustering post-Christmas snowstorm that has dropped nearly 2 feet of snow just north of Boston, shut down major highways in New York and forced U.S. airlines to cancel thousands of flights nationwide is continuing its bitter cold journey through the Northeast.

The brutal weather — which brought plummeting temperatures to some areas that forecasters predicted could see highs just above zero and wind chill readings of minus 10 degrees and colder by early Friday — dumped 21 inches of snow in Boxford, Mass., late Thursday night and 18 inches in parts of western New York near Rochester. In Central Park early Friday, the National Weather Service said just over 3 inches of snow had fallen.

The snowfall, frigid cold and stiff winds extended Christmas break for some students while posing the first test for New York City’s new mayor and perhaps the last challenge for Boston’s outgoing one.

U.S. airlines canceled more than 2,300 flights due to snowfall and low visibility.

“It’s been a tough road,” said traveler Heather Krochuk, of Toronto, Canada, inside a Boston hotel Thursday night after her flight home out of Logan International Airport got canceled in what’s turned into a 36-hour trip from Seattle, where she spent Christmas with her husband, Ron.

But, she said, “we have a place to sleep that isn’t the airport.”

Snow began falling overnight Wednesday in parts of New England and New York state, but the brunt of the storm began late Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Cape Cod, coastal areas north and south of Boston and part of Maine as well as New York’s Long Island.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said state offices that closed early Thursday would remain closed on Friday. He said National Guard members and state police were on standby for any high tide flooding in vulnerable coastal areas, but no mandatory evacuations had been ordered.

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