Deadly winter storm hits US, 8 killed

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The first major winter storm in the Mid-Atlantic region in the United States left at least eight people dead and thousands of customers without power Thursday, local officials said.

From Arkansas to Maine, the storm system has prompted storm alerts for 80 million people over a 1,500-mile area.

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The weather was blamed for two deaths and several injuries Wednesday from a tour bus that crashed on slick roads in northern Mississippi.

The bus originated in Alabama and was headed for Tunica, Mississippi. A weather advisory was issued a short time before the crash, urging drivers to use caution.

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In Ohio, a 61-year-old man died Thursday in a chain-reaction crash involving dozens of vehicles in Stark County. Lt. John Bosley of the Canton Police Department blamed icy road conditions for the crashes.

A crash in Millersville, Md., killed a woman Thursday morning after her vehicle slid on ice into oncoming traffic.

In Indiana, a tree fell across Interstate 65, killing a woman after a tractor-trailer was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a minivan.

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And in Arkansas, three persons died in two separate crashes on icy roads.

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Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people were without power across the region, mostly in Virginia (91,018), Ohio (74,985), Kentucky (65,750) and Indiana (54,205).

Airlines canceled more than 1,569 flights at U.S. airports — mostly at New York-area airports, including Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and JFK.

The Washington, D.C., area has seen a mix of snow and ice forecasters said will give way to rain later Thursday. St. Louis is expected to get up to 8 inches of snow. Some areas of Missouri and Illinois received 6 inches.

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Many airlines are waiving fees for travellers who need to change their flight plans.

Ice has accumulated on the roads in other areas, like Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and in northern and central Kentucky.

Additional snow could fall along the Interstate 95 corridor Thursday night.

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