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January 2, 2014

1st snowstorm of 2014 descends on New England, NY

HARTFORD, Conn. — Residents and emergency management officials in New England and parts of New York prepared on Wednesday for a winter storm predicted to help usher in 2014 with snow and frigid temperatures across much of the region.

Snow was expected to begin falling overnight, promising a messy commute for the first business day of the new year, but the full storm wasn’t expected to hit until later Thursday. As much as a foot of snow or more was forecast for some areas overnight Thursday into Friday, and temperatures were expected to plummet, with some areas seeing highs just above zero, the National Weather Service said.

“There will be travel problems,” said Hugh Johnson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Albany, N.Y. “It will be very cold.”

The storm dropped a half-foot or more of snow in Illinois on Wednesday, prompting hundreds of flight cancellations into and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.com.

Sections of interior southern New England and New York could get up to a foot of snow, with forecasts generally calling for 6 to 12 inches. New York City, likely to see 3 to 7 inches, issued a snow alert. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged the city’s commuters to leave their cars at home in case major highways are closed for Thursday’s evening rush hour.

“We are looking at a serious storm situation,” Cuomo said.

Near blizzard conditions were forecast for areas along the coast. The mayor of Bridgeport declared a state of emergency for Thursday, imposing special parking regulations so crews can plow.

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