Winter storm hits eastern US, claims at least 5 lives

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - A powerful winter storm that has claimed at least five lives pounded the US Midwest and Northeast and snarled post-Christmas travel on Wednesday after rare tornadoes pummeled the Gulf Coast.
Heavy snow and high winds prompted National Weather Service blizzard and winter storm warnings for the Ohio River Valley and into the Northeast. Fifteen inches (37.5 cm) of snow were recorded at New Baltimore, Michigan, as the storm headed north and east.
About 1,500 US flights were canceled on Wednesday, according to, a site that tracks aircraft flights. Some 170 flights also have been called off for Thursday, and several airlines waived ticket change fees for affected customers.
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