Winter storm heads Northeast; dozens of accidents reported

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The same deadly winter storm that froze the Midwest brought snow and sleet to the Northeast on Thursday, Dec. 13, dumping snow and sleet and clogging some of the nation’s most heavily traveled highways, the Associated Press reported. Some regions could receive up to a foot of snow, forecasters said.

As traffic crawled along Interstates 95, 84 and 91, dozens of traffic accidents were reported on Connecticut roads. “We’re having, I won’t say a crisis, but we have an abundance of crashes literally all across the state on main and secondary roads,” Lt. J. Paul Vance told the news agency. “It really is pretty dangerous, so we would strongly advise people to stay off the roads.”

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell found herself stuck, crawling along the highway at 5-10 mph for two hours from Suffield to Hartford in what normally is a 30-minute drive, the AP reported. Rell asked tractor-trailer drivers to get off highways for at least two hours to give plows room to work. State police told the news agency that portions of several highways had to be closed for a time in part because motorists abandoned their vehicles in the travel lanes.

The storm was blamed for 35 deaths, mostly in traffic accidents, as it moved through the middle of the country on its way to the Northeast. According to the AP, sunshine and milder temperatures on Thursday, Dec. 13, helped cleanup efforts in much of the Plains, but another winter storm approaching from the West dumped more heavy snow on parts of Oklahoma this morning, Dec. 14.