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Jan 2, 2014 10:53 PM by Connie Murphy

Strong winter storm pushes into the Northeast

BOSTON (AP) - A storm expected to bring more than a foot of snow, stiff winds and punishing cold pushed into the Northeast on Thursday, extending Christmas break for some students.

Some schools in New England and New York closed well ahead of the snow, while cities mobilized plows and salt spreaders, and state offices sent workers home early. Some major highways were ordered shut down overnight. U.S. airlines canceled more than 2,300 flights nationwide on Thursday in advance of the storm.

Snow began falling overnight Wednesday in parts of New England and New York state, but the brunt of the storm isn't expected until late Thursday. Forecasters said temperatures would plummet, with some areas seeing highs just above zero and wind-chill readings of minus-10 and colder.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Cape Cod, coastal areas north and south of Boston and part of Maine as well as New York's Long Island, where 8 to 10 inches of snow could fall and winds could gust to 45 mph. Fourteen to 18 inches of snow were forecast, with up to 2 feet in some areas along the Massachusetts coast.

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