Winter Storm Takes Aim at Northeast

NEW YORK (AP) -- A powerful winter storm that's bedeviled Thanksgiving travelers across the United States is taking aim Sunday at the northeast.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings and predicts heavy snow and freezing cold in swaths of New England and New York. Ice accumulations are predicted in parts of Pennsylvania.

More than a foot (0.3 meters) of snow is expected in parts of upstate New York eastward to southern Maine. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cut short a trip to Puerto Rico to return home and deal with the storm.

The system, which has been pummeling the U.S. since before Thanksgiving, has already dumped heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest and inundating other areas with rain.

Authorities found the bodies of two young children in central Arizona after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek. A third child is missing.

A storm-related death also was reported in South Dakota.

Blizzard conditions buffeted the High Plains on Saturday.

The city of Duluth, Minnesota, was blanketed with 19.3 inches (5.9 meters) of snow as of 6 a.m. Sunday. The city issued a "no travel advisory" at noon Saturday and deemed the storm "historic."

Farther south, precipitation was in the form of rain and thunderstorms.

Forecasters said a new storm is expected to bring several feet of mountain snow, rain and gusty winds to California through the weekend. Another system is forecast to develop in the mid-Atlantic Sunday, moving into a nor'easter by Monday.

As the storm shifts east, flight delays and cancellations are continuing to pile up — disrupting travelers heading home after Thanksgiving.

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, 53 flights were delayed and 6 were cancelled at the three New York-area airports, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.

The Federal Aviation Administration said some flights heading to Newark, New Jersey, are being delayed by an average of more than 2 1/2 hours.

There were also dozens of delays at airports in Chicago and Minneapolis.

At Denver International Airport, there were 100 flights canceled Saturday because of high winds.

Authorities in the western states were still grappling with the aftermath of heavy rains and snow over the busiest travel weekend of the year.

Families in California took advantage of the early season snow in the Grapevine area, sledding down slopes in Frazier Park, California. Traffic was heavy, but Interstate 5 was open in both directions as holiday travelers headed home.

High winds and ice were making travel almost impossible in some other places, however.

A 100-mile (160.93-kilometer) section of Interstate 80 in Nebraska and Wyoming closed Saturday morning because of high winds and blowing snow. Several other roads and highways also were closed.

Back-to-back snowstorms and strong winds combined to seriously complicate travel by land across much of the rest of Wyoming, where roads were closed in the eastern and southern parts of the state because of whiteout conditions.

The National Weather Service in Wyoming reported 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow fell in Cheyenne from 7 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Saturday "that has been blown all over kingdom come by our winds," said meteorologist Andrew Lyons.

That was added to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow that fell before Thanksgiving.

All roads in and out of Casper were closed Saturday morning, including the entire 300-mile stretch (483-kilometer) of Interstate 25 in Wyoming.

Travel was also difficult in Colorado Saturday as winds blew around snow that fell in previous days.

Northeastern Colorado roads were closed due to strong winds, blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility.

In northern Montana, more than a foot of fresh snow and strong wind gusts are expected to combine to create ground blizzard conditions along the Rocky Mountain front.

(KR)