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New York, Pennsylvania dig out from heavy snow after historic nor'easter

By
Don Jacobson
A pedestrian crosses Seventh Avenue in the early morning hours Thursday during a major snow storm in Times Square in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Large swaths of the eastern United States are digging out from snow and cleaning up Friday after a historic nor'easter dumped as many as 3 feet in parts of New York and Pennsylvania.

New York City, which received 10 inches of snow in Central Park, was coming out of the snow cascade early Friday and city schools reopened after moving classes online Wednesday and Thursday due to the storm.

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Students walking to school Friday through mounds of shoveled snow were cautioned to beware of dangerous black ice on streets and sidewalks.

Outdoor dining at restaurants in the city were permitted to resume later Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. Due to city COVID-19 restrictions, indoor dining is still barred.

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"Our outdoor dining structures held up very well during the worst of the storm," de Blasio tweeted.

The greatest amount of snowfall in New York was 44 inches reported in Newark Valley, about 20 miles west of Binghamton, which saw 40 inches.

In central Pennsylvania, which received the brunt of the storm in the state, operations began to return to normal late Thursday at Harrisburg International Airport.

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Pennsylvania State Police posted drone photos of a 66-vehicle pileup on Interstate 80, which happened during the early stages of the storm on Wednesday.

Two people died in the crash, which officials say involved 55 commercial vehicles and 11 passenger automobiles. Police photos showed semi-trailers strewn across the snow-covered roadway.

Pittsburgh received more than 9 inches of snow -- the fifth-largest amount for any day in December in the city, the National Weather Service said.

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Hundreds of flights in the Northeast were canceled on Wednesday and Thursday, but just a few were canceled Friday at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport, according to FlightAware.com.

At least seven deaths have been attributed to the storm. Thousands of customers in the Northeast lost electricity during the storm, but only a few thousand in New York remained without power on Friday, according to poweroutage.us.

Forecasters say bitter cold temperatures will follow the nor'easter in the coming days.

"Through Saturday, high temperatures are likely to range from near 20 [degrees Fahrenheit] over northern New England to the lower 40s in northern Virginia, or about 5-10 degrees below average," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

Highs typically range from the mid-20s over northern New England to the upper 40s in the Mid-Atlantic.

"Temperatures can dip to below zero in the Adirondacks and northern New England and well down into the teens in southern Pennsylvania during Friday night," Anderson added.

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