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Millions Warned To Stay Off Roads As Latest Storm Spreads

From the Midwest through the Northeast and on into New England, the latest winter storm is spreading misery across some of the most heavily populated states in the nation.

New York state, where snow is falling fast and some areas may see a foot or more of new accumulation before Wednesday is out, is getting hit especially hard. How bad is it? Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging "all New Yorkers to stay off the roads" and has announced that all traffic is banned from his state's portion of Interstate 84. That's a 72-mile stretch connecting northeastern Pennsylvania with southwestern Connecticut.

"Any cars on the road [I-84] will be ticketed," Cuomo's office says.

(Side note for those old enough to get this reference: If only Cuomo had said "The New York State Thruway's closed, man!" our day would be complete.)

But the Empire State is by no means the only place where travel warnings are out:

-- Connecticut. "Storm Blankets State With Snow." (The Courant)

-- Maryland. "Freezing Rain Closes Schools, Knocks Out Power For About 90,000." (Baltimore Sun)

-- Massachusetts. "Snow Piling Up As Rough Morning Commute Underway." (Boston Globe)

-- New Jersey. "Ice Storm In Bergen County: Dangerous Roads, School Closings." (NJ.com)

-- Ohio. "Snow Causing Accidents, Delays For Northeast Ohio Commuters." (Cleveland's Plain Dealer)

-- Pennsylvania. "Speed Limits On Western Pennsylvania Highways Have Been Reduced." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

We shouldn't forget to mention that there is plenty of winter-related misery in places such as St. Louis, Chicago and Oklahoma City. Also, the weather has caused air traffic delays across the nation. According to FlightAware.com, more than 2,200 flights into or out of the U.S. have been canceled today. Another 650 or so have been delayed.

The short-term forecast from the National Weather Service:

"A storm over the Ohio Valley will move eastward out over the Western Atlantic by Wednesday evening. The system will produce heavy snow over parts of the Lower Great Lakes into New England that will slowly taper off to light snow over New England by Wednesday evening before ending Wednesday night. Pockets of rain/freezing rain will develop over parts of the Northern Mid-Atlantic ending by afternoon."

Meanwhile, there's still time to get in on the question we asked Tuesday about whether you're sick of winter.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.