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Northeast US gets its 2nd major workday snowstorm in a week

February 3, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Boston scrambled to dig out Monday from the second major winter storm in a week and delayed a celebratory Super Bowl parade, and forecasters from Philadelphia to Portland, Maine, warned that “flash freezing” could make roads dangerously slippery.

Officials said a Massachusetts woman was run over and killed by a snowplow, and New York state police said two people were killed in a multivehicle crash on an interstate highway in Rye.

Officials in Ohio, where the storm hit before slamming into the Northeast, said a Toledo police officer died of an apparent heart attack while shoveling snow in his driveway Sunday. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins was heavily sedated and in critical condition Monday, a day after he went into cardiac arrest and his SUV crashed into a pole on his way home not long after a news conference.

The snowstorm, which dumped more than 19 inches (48 centimeters) of snow on Chicago, deepened off the southern New England coast, bringing accumulations up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) to the greater Boston area and up to a foot (30 centimeters) of slushy wintry mix to Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Vermont — places still reeling from the up to 3 feet (90 centimeters) they got last week.

More than 20 counties in New York state were under a winter storm warning, with up to 16 inches (40 centimeters) forecast for some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a “flash freeze” warning for New York City and Long Island. Similar warnings were out for Philadelphia and up the coast to Maine as temperatures dropped, freezing roads already slick with snow and slush.

Rush-hour commuters in New York City were stranded on a packed subway train that lost power for 2½ hours Monday before it could be towed to a station. Five other trains were stuck behind it.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh canceled school for a second day and urged drivers to stay off the roads so workers could clear away snow for a downtown parade honoring the New England Patriots for their fourth Super Bowl win.

The parade had been set for Tuesday morning, but late Monday, Walsh announced that it would be postponed until Wednesday morning to buy the city some time.

The storm delayed two of the nation’s biggest court cases — the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Testimony was to resume Tuesday in the Hernandez trial. But federal court officials in Boston, who follow the city’s school closure schedule, said the Tsarnaev proceedings would be delayed a second day.

Monday was also Groundhog Day. The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said the furry rodent forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the “prediction” Monday morning.

Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.


Associated Press writers Mark Pratt and Sylvia Lee Wingfield in Boston and Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

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