From: Scott Malone, Reuters
Published December 16, 2007 01:52 PM

Winter storm pounds northeastern U.S.

BOSTON (Reuters) - A major winter storm that dropped more than 10 inches of snow across parts of the Midwestern United States barreled into New England on Sunday, with snow, freezing rain and forecasts for winds as high as 50 miles per hour.

Roads were covered in snow and local airports reported hundreds of flights canceled, but authorities reported no major accidents or power outages.

The wintry blast came just a week after an earlier ice storm in the Midwest contributed to the deaths of at least 13 people and left hundreds of thousands without power.

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Chicago's O'Hare International and Midway airports were dealing with the aftermath of the storm on Sunday.

In New England, about 8 inches snow fell around Boston, though the precipitation had changed to rain across coastal areas of the region by afternoon, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

In New England, the storm, which started in the predawn hours of a weekend day, did not bring the disruption of Thursday afternoon's snowfall, which blanketed the region with about 10 inches of snow as millions of commuters were trying to head home.

The Boston area typically gets about 7.8 inches of snow through the entire month of December.

"At this point, fortunately, because there's been such limited travel out there, folks are listening, there really haven't been any major accidents of significance," said Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. "But the attraction of the Patriots game is going to bring a lot of traffic."

The New England Patriots football team began playing the New York Jets around 1 p.m. EST in Foxborough, Massachusetts, despite the storm. The Patriots have won all 13 games they have played so far this season, and their bid to be the first team in 35 years to go unbeaten through the 16-game regular season has attracted intense fan interest.

Logan International Airport in Boston halted all flights for about an hour and a half to allow officials to plow its runways and had canceled about 300 flights, said airport spokeswoman Lisa Langone.

"We're now at one runway and we hope to open up the second," Langone said. She said that the airport's terminals were relatively quiet, with many passengers apparently having contacted the airport to check on flight status before heading out.

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