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Storm toll up to 6 dead as powerful winter system blows toward Northeast

Storm toll up to 6 dead as powerful winter system blows toward Northeast

CREATED Dec 26, 2012

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- A storm system that is blamed for at least six deaths is spreading blizzard conditions as it moves toward the northeastern United States, slowing holiday travel.

Snow blew across southern Illinois and southern Indiana early today as the storm tracked up the Ohio River valley toward the Eastern seaboard and New England. There were whiteout conditions in southwestern Indiana, where 6 inches or more of snow had fallen by midmorning.

By 10 a.m., Indianapolis had 7 inches of snow on the ground -- including as much as 3 inches in a single hour.

The storm left more than 189,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas without power today.

Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for the Carolinas. A line of blizzard and winter storm warnings extends to New York and on to Maine.

Police are reporting scores of accidents on snow-covered highways in central and western Maryland.

More than 900 flights around the United States had been canceled by midday today, according to the flight tracker FlightAware.com.