Storm blows through East; 135K in dark in Arkansas

  • Rescuers work to move a driver injured in a wreck on a slick, snow-covered street in Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. The blizzard warning issued the day before by National Weather Service came to fruition in the region Wednesday as winds picked up and snow began falling in earnest before dawn. (AP Photo/The Republic, Joe Harpring)Rescuers work to move a driver injured in a wreck on a slick, snow-covered street in Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. The blizzard warning issued the day before by National Weather Service came to fruition in the region Wednesday as winds picked up and snow began falling in earnest before dawn. (AP Photo/The Republic, Joe Harpring)
  • Residents clear cars and driveways as plows clear the streets in Carbondale, Ill. on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. A gusty winter storm slammed southern Illinois on Wednesday, leaving roads covered in ice and snow and prompting authorities to warn of whiteout conditions that could significantly reduce drivers' visibility. (AP Photo/ The Southern Illinoisan, Aaron Eisenhauer)Residents clear cars and driveways as plows clear the streets in Carbondale, Ill. on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. A gusty winter storm slammed southern Illinois on Wednesday, leaving roads covered in ice and snow and prompting authorities to warn of whiteout conditions that could significantly reduce drivers' visibility. (AP Photo/ The Southern Illinoisan, Aaron Eisenhauer)
  • A person pushes a kart while salting the sidewalk at Military Park in downtown Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. The National Weather Service forecast sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph along the coast in the afternoon, with gusts up to 40 mph. The storm is expected to dump a total of four to six inches on the area and also produce sleet and freezing rain.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)A person pushes a kart while salting the sidewalk at Military Park in downtown Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. The National Weather Service forecast sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph along the coast in the afternoon, with gusts up to 40 mph. The storm is expected to dump a total of four to six inches on the area and also produce sleet and freezing rain. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • A Indiana State Highway Garage snow plows moves work along Jonathan Moore Pike in Columbus, Ind. Wednesday Dec. 26, 2012. The blizzard warning issued the day before by National Weather Service came to fruition in the region as winds picked up and snow began falling in earnest before dawn. (AP Photo/The Republic, Joe Harpring)A Indiana State Highway Garage snow plows moves work along Jonathan Moore Pike in Columbus, Ind. Wednesday Dec. 26, 2012. The blizzard warning issued the day before by National Weather Service came to fruition in the region as winds picked up and snow began falling in earnest before dawn. (AP Photo/The Republic, Joe Harpring)
  • With a bicycle as his only means of transport, Dale Marchant of Winchester, Va. pedals along Valley Ave. in a snowstorm that is expected to dump four or more inches in the Winchester, Va. area, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/The Winchester Star, Jeff Taylor)With a bicycle as his only means of transport, Dale Marchant of Winchester, Va. pedals along Valley Ave. in a snowstorm that is expected to dump four or more inches in the Winchester, Va. area, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/The Winchester Star, Jeff Taylor)
  • Helen Earley cleans off her car in the parking lot of Hawkins Market in Ashland, Ohio Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 after buying groceries. (AP Photo/Ashland Times-Gazette, Tom E. Puskar)Helen Earley cleans off her car in the parking lot of Hawkins Market in Ashland, Ohio Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 after buying groceries. (AP Photo/Ashland Times-Gazette, Tom E. Puskar)
  • Driver Neil Simmons keeps an eye on the load as his trucks is loaded up with salt at the Oakland County Road Commission maintenance yard in Southfield, Mich., Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 26, 2012.  (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick)Driver Neil Simmons keeps an eye on the load as his trucks is loaded up with salt at the Oakland County Road Commission maintenance yard in Southfield, Mich., Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick)
  •  Elizabeth Seymour, 9, front, gets a mouthful of snow while sledding at the Colllierville, Tenn., landfill with Carly Catanzaro, 10, and her sister Ellery Seymour, 10, back, Wednesday Dec. 26, 2012. Shelby county managed to avoid the heavy snow that blanketed much of Arkansas, but that didn't stop the trio of sledders from taking advantage of the popular hill. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber) Elizabeth Seymour, 9, front, gets a mouthful of snow while sledding at the Colllierville, Tenn., landfill with Carly Catanzaro, 10, and her sister Ellery Seymour, 10, back, Wednesday Dec. 26, 2012. Shelby county managed to avoid the heavy snow that blanketed much of Arkansas, but that didn't stop the trio of sledders from taking advantage of the popular hill. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber)
  • A Coast Electric Power Association lineman grounds a line on a replacement pole in McNeill, Miss., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. The Christmas day storms downed both telephone and electric power lines and poles throughout the state in addition to extensive private property damage.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)A Coast Electric Power Association lineman grounds a line on a replacement pole in McNeill, Miss., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. The Christmas day storms downed both telephone and electric power lines and poles throughout the state in addition to extensive private property damage. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
  • A storm-ravaged store and debris sit in Monticello, Miss. on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012.  More than 25 people were injured and at least 70 homes were damaged in Mississippi by the severe storms that pushed across the South on Christmas Day, authorities said Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Enterprise-Journal, Philip Hall)A storm-ravaged store and debris sit in Monticello, Miss. on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. More than 25 people were injured and at least 70 homes were damaged in Mississippi by the severe storms that pushed across the South on Christmas Day, authorities said Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Enterprise-Journal, Philip Hall)
  • Murphy High School athletic custodian Mike Gill, left, and maintenance man Stewart Lynch, right, asses the damage caused to the school by a Christmas Day tornado as residents clean up at first light Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012  in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)Murphy High School athletic custodian Mike Gill, left, and maintenance man Stewart Lynch, right, asses the damage caused to the school by a Christmas Day tornado as residents clean up at first light Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)
  • Tim Clarke, in black jacket, carries antiques from the the damaged home of family friend Anne Zieman (not pictured) as residents clean up and assess the damage from a Christmas Day tornado Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012  in Mobile, Ala.  (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)Tim Clarke, in black jacket, carries antiques from the the damaged home of family friend Anne Zieman (not pictured) as residents clean up and assess the damage from a Christmas Day tornado Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)
  • Murphy High School teacher Leland Howard tries to salvage items where his algebra classroom once stood in a temporary building at Murphy High School as residents clean up and assess the damage from a Christmas Day tornado Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012  in Mobile, Ala.  (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)Murphy High School teacher Leland Howard tries to salvage items where his algebra classroom once stood in a temporary building at Murphy High School as residents clean up and assess the damage from a Christmas Day tornado Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)
  • This Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 photo shows a damaged hall at Trinity Episcopal Church as residents clean up and assess the damage from a Christmas Day tornado in Mobile, Ala.  (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)This Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 photo shows a damaged hall at Trinity Episcopal Church as residents clean up and assess the damage from a Christmas Day tornado in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)
  • Semler Street resident Mack Robinson checks on his tornado damaged home Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, in Prichard, Ala. Robinson's wife, Mary, was home when the tornado hit. "Nobody got hurt, except my feelings," Robinson said. (AP Photo/AL.com, Mike Kittrell)  MAGS OUTSemler Street resident Mack Robinson checks on his tornado damaged home Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, in Prichard, Ala. Robinson's wife, Mary, was home when the tornado hit. "Nobody got hurt, except my feelings," Robinson said. (AP Photo/AL.com, Mike Kittrell) MAGS OUT
  • Utility crews work to restore powe in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, after a tornado swept through the area on Christmas Day. With only a handful of injuries and no deaths reported statewide from the storms, the head of the state's emergency response said it was difficult to fathom how the toll wasn't worse. (AP Photo/AL.com, Mike Kittrell)  Utility crews work to restore powe in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, after a tornado swept through the area on Christmas Day. With only a handful of injuries and no deaths reported statewide from the storms, the head of the state's emergency response said it was difficult to fathom how the toll wasn't worse. (AP Photo/AL.com, Mike Kittrell)

CONCORD, N.H. — A muted version of a winter storm that has killed more than a dozen people across the eastern half of the country plodded across the Northeast on Thursday, trapping airliners in snow or mud and frustrating travelers still trying to return home after Christmas.

The storm, which was blamed for at least 16 deaths farther south and west, brought plenty of wind, rain and snow to the Northeast when it blew in Wednesday night. Lights generally remained on and cars mostly stayed on the road, unlike many harder-hit places including Arkansas, where 200,000 homes and businesses lost power.

By afternoon, the precipitation had stopped in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts, though snow continued to fall in upstate New York and northern New England. Parts of snow-savvy New Hampshire expected as much as 18 inches.

The Northeast’s heaviest snowfall was in northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and inland sections of several New England states. The storm was expected to head into Canada on Friday, National Weather Service spokesman David Roth said.

While the East Coast’s largest cities — New York, Philadelphia and Boston — saw mostly high winds and cold rain, other areas experienced a messy mix of rain and snow that slowed commuters and those still heading home from holiday trips. Some inbound flights were delayed in Philadelphia and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, but the weather wasn’t leading to delays at other major East Coast airports.

Forty-two students traveling to London and Dublin were stuck in the Nashville airport thanks to weather in the Northeast. The frustrated students, from universities in Tennessee and Kentucky, were supposed to leave Wednesday and arrive in London on Thursday.

Joe Woolley, spokesman for the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad, said he hopes he can get them there just one day late.

“It’s a two-week program, so it’s shortened already,” he said.

On New York’s Long Island, a Southwest Airlines jet bound for Tampa, Fla., veered off a taxiway and got stuck in mud Thursday morning. Officials said there were no injuries to the 129 passengers and five crew members. Though the area received heavy rain overnight, Southwest spokesman Paul Flanigan said it was unclear whether that played a role.

In Pittsburgh, a flight that landed safely during the storm Wednesday night got stuck in several inches of snow on the tarmac for about two hours. The American Airlines flight arrived between 8 and 9 p.m. but then ran over a snow patch and got stuck.

Earlier, the storm system spawned tornadoes on Christmas along the Gulf Coast, startling people like Bob and Sherry Sims of Mobile, Ala., who had just finished dinner.

“We heard that very distinct sound, like a freight train,” said Bob Sims, who lost electricity but was grateful that he fared better than neighbors whose roofs were peeled away and porches smashed by falling trees.

In Georgiana, Ala., an 81-year-old man died Wednesday, a day after a tree fell on his home, emergency officials said.

Deaths from wind-toppled trees also were reported in Texas and Louisiana, but car crashes caused most of the fatalities. Two people were killed in Kentucky crashes, a New York man was killed after his pickup truck skidded on an icy road in northwest Pennsylvania and an Ohio teenager died after losing control of her car and smashing into an oncoming snowplow.

In Arkansas, where two people died in a head-on collision, some of those who lost electricity could be without it for as long as a week because of snapped poles and wires after ice and 10 inches of snow coated power lines, said the state’s largest utility, Entergy Arkansas. By Thursday evening, power to thousands of customers had been restored, but more than 135,000 homes and businesses remained in the dark, Entergy said.

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