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Storm Stella batters US

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A blustery, late-season storm clobbered the Northeast with sleet and heavy snow Tuesday, crippling much of the Washington-to-Boston corridor after a stretch of unusually mild winter weather that had people thinking spring was already here, reported ABC7 News (US).

The powerful nor'easter unloaded 1 to 2 feet of snow in places, grounded more than 6,000 flights, knocked out power to nearly a quarter-million customers from Virginia northward and, by the time it reached Massachusetts, had turned into a blizzard, with the wind gusting at nearly hurricane force over 70 mph along the coast.

"It's horrible," said retired gumball-machine technician Don Zimmerman, of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, using a snowblower to clear the sidewalk along his block. "I thought winter was out of here. ... It's a real kick in the rear."

While people mostly heeded dire warnings to stay home and off the roads, police said a 16-year-old girl was killed when she lost control of her car on a snowy road and hit a tree in Gilford, New Hampshire.

Inland areas got hit hard. Binghamton, New York, had 22 inches by mid-afternoon, while more than a foot fell in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Vernon, New Jersey, got at least 19 inches, and Monterey, Massachusetts, 15, with snow still accumulating in the afternoon. Up to a foot was expected in the Boston area.

"The winters seem to be upside down now. January and February are nice and then March and April seem to be wintrier than they were in the past," said Bob Clifford, who ventured out on an early morning grocery run for his family in Altamont, near Albany, New York.

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A late-season storm has grounded more than 6,000 flights and paralysed much of the east coast coridoor between Washington DC and Boston, reported Sky News (UK).

More than 180,000 people have been left without power from Virginia northwards as the storm brought more than a foot of snow in some places, closing schools and triggering safety warnings.
Amtrak suspended services in the region and the post office halted mail deliveries as blizzard conditions brought heavy snow.
Towns in the north of Pennsylvania saw nearly 16 inches of snow, while Wantage Township in New Jersey got at least 17 inches.

Above-ground parts of the New York subway system were shut down and more than 2,800 flights in the New York City area were among those cancelled, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at JFK Airport.

Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared states of emergency.
In Massachusetts, where forecasters predicted up to 18 inches of snow, Governor Charlie Baker warned motorists to stay off the roads.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy advised people that it was a "good day to make brownies... and or read a book".

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