- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Blowing snow and sleet glazed windshields and roads across the nation yesterday, grounding hundreds of flights and forcing schools and businesses from Kentucky to Maine to close.

At least 12 deaths were blamed on the huge storm system, which caused blackouts that affected more than a quarter-million customers. Blizzard warnings were posted for parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine, where as much as 2 feet of snow was forecast.

Vermont’s state government ordered all nonessential employees home after noon, the New York Capitol in Albany came to a near halt, and some Pennsylvania state workers were told to stay home. Maine’s governor declared a state of emergency to ensure deliveries of heating oil, and New York’s governor activated the National Guard.

The storm was good news for the ski industry in New England, where snow has been sparse this winter.

“Best day of the year,” snowboarder Willie Bozack, 28, of Moretown, Vt., said outside the base lodge at Sugarbush Resort. “It’s epic.”

In upstate New York, more than a foot of snow had fallen by midday in Herkimer County in the Adirondacks, and up to 3 feet of snow was forecast. The brunt of the storm bypassed towns near the east end of Lake Ontario that had been buried by 10 feet and more of lake-effect snow in the past week.

It was too cold and snowy even to make snow angels. Syracuse school officials had planned to try setting a world record for the most snow angels in one place today, but postponed the effort, citing the weather.

Hundreds of flights were canceled yesterday at the New York City area’s three major airports and in Albany, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. About 300,000 customers lost power in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana and New York’s Long Island.

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