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Wintry weather causes travel mayhem in Midwest and Northeast

By AccuWeather & UPI Staff, Accuweather.com

Nov. 12 (UPI) -- An early season snowstorm has sent the eastern half of the United States into a winterlike frenzy this week.

From record-breaking cold in the South to travel nightmares in the Midwest and heavy snow accumulation in New England, this storm system has sent millions of Americans scurrying to their calendars to ensure they're flipped to the right month.

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Crashes on Ohio's Interstates 80 and 76 near Youngstown on Tuesday involved more than 50 vehicles. The Ohio Department of Transportation shut down portions of the highway amid whiteout conditions.

With over 1,500 flights canceled in Chicago, not including one plane that landed at O'Hare International and promptly slid off the runway, and accidents around Missouri blamed on the ice, Monday turned into a day of travel nightmares for the Midwestern region. On Monday night, three Michigan residents were killed in an accident which officials blame on snowy conditions. Another individual, who was operating the other car involved in the accident, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

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Another tragic accident occurred on Monday morning when an 8-year-old girl, identified by the Kansas Highway Patrol as Cassie N. Ralston, was killed in a three-car accident in Osage County, Kan. Her father, Terry Ralston, was the driver of the vehicle and he suffered minor injuries. Freezing temperatures and strong winds were reported in the area at the time. According to the accident log, three other individuals were taken to the hospital with injuries.

In Missouri, the State Highway Patrol reported on Twitter that hundreds of crashes and slide-offs and dozens of injuries had occurred on Monday. In the western portion of the state, the cities of Kirksville and St. Joseph both reported record-low temperatures on Tuesday morning, as Kirksville dropped to 2 F and St. Joseph reached 6 degrees. Kansas City fell to 8 degrees, which just missed the record low set in 1911.

Freezing temperatures were also rampant throughout the Northeast as a wintry mix forced hundreds of schools in Vermont to close on Tuesday. In New York, the National Weather Service reported over 10 inches of snowfall at Buffalo International Airport.

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Emergency responders were called to a crash involving a bus in Preble, N.Y., at 1:36 a.m Tuesday. According to officials, the driver lost control on the snow-covered roadway and crashed onto its side in the median. The driver, 45-year-old Yong Zhen, was ticketed for speed not reasonable and prudent for conditions, according to WNBF.com.

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In Massachusetts, the NWS urged drivers to watch out for patchy ice spots on roads.

With temperatures expected to continue dropping throughout the week, classes in the Bay State may be canceled or delayed on Wednesday. According to the NWS, two locations in western Massachusetts have already recorded over an inch of snow as of 12 p.m.

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