Devastating Storm System Heads North

Snow is falling across the Northeast this morning, part of a devastating winter storm system making its way up the East Coast.
By DAN GOOD 

Snow is falling across the Northeast this morning, part of a devastating winter storm system making its way up the East Coast.

The storm has already resulted in 12 deaths and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the South, leaving streets gridlocked and filled with abandoned cars.

That storm could dump more than a foot of snow in some areas today, leaving winter-weary cities buried for the morning commute. Washington, D.C. could see around 8 inches, as could Boston. New York City could receive 6 inches. The Philadelphia area could get a foot or more, and Portland, Maine, may see 8 or 9 inches. 

More than 4,000 Thursday flights have been canceled nationwide due to the storm, according to FlightAware.com.

Crews at Richmond International Airport used a 22-foot-long plow blade – about twice as wide as a standard highway snowplow – to clear snow from the runway. 

At least 12 deaths across the South have been blamed on this week's treacherous weather, the Associated Press reports.

Before the storm pushed northward, it glazed the South with snow and freezing rain. The situation in North Carolina was eerily similar to what happened in Atlanta a few weeks ago: As snow started to fall around midday, everyone left work at the same time, despite warnings from officials to stay home altogether because the storm would move in quickly.

"It seemed like every other car was getting stuck, fishtailing, trying to move forward," said Caitlin Palmieri, who drove two blocks from her job at a crafts store in downtown Raleigh before getting stuck. She left her car behind and walked back to work.

Soo Keith, of Raleigh, left work about a little after noon, thinking she would have plenty of time to get home before the worst of the snow hit.

Instead, Keith drove a few miles in about two hours and decided to park and start walking.

"My face is all frozen, my glasses are all frozen, my hair is all frozen," the mother of two and former Chicago resident said as she walked the final mile to her house. "I know how to drive in the snow. But this storm came on suddenly and everyone was leaving work at the same time. I don't think anybody did anything wrong; the weather just hit quickly."

ABC News’ Matt Hosford and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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