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Winter storm unloads snow, ice on South, heads for Northeast

Winter storm dumps snow, ice on South, heads for Northeast
Credit: Shelley Mays, The Tennessean-USA TODAY NETWORK
Gordon Petty clears the driveway at the YMCA in Brentwood, Tenn.

After dumping snow and ice across the South on Tuesday, wreaking havoc with air and road travel, a winter storm will take aim on the Northeast on Wednesday.

The storm will strengthen off the East Coast on Wednesday, dumping as much as 8 inches on portions of New England.

Hundreds of flights were canceled at Texas airports — including Houston, San Antonio and Austin — where frigid temperatures left runways dangerously icy. 

Nearly 1,200 flights had been canceled and another 1,900 delayed as of Tuesday afternoon, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. 

More: Tuesday storm: Airlines waive change fees, cancellations top 800

The storm brought some impressive snowfall totals to western Kentucky, the Weather Channel said, including 9 inches in Murray and 8.1 inches in Paducah. Up to a half foot of snow has also been measured in east-central Arkansas near Palestine.

Many roads were closed across the region because of the hazardous conditions. “We’ve got numerous crashes on the interstates and surface roads,” Louisiana State Trooper Glenn Younger said Tuesday morning from Bossier City, La., just across the Red River from Shreveport.

In Kentucky, multiple crashes closed a 10-mile section of Interstate 24 on the west side of the state. 

Schools were also closed in 10 states from Missouri to Georgia.

Children were taking advantage of the snow in northern Louisiana with some rare sledding opportunities, while those without sleds used cardboard boxes to sail down snow covered hills.

"We're having a great time," said Michael Ryan of Monroe, La., as his 7-year-old son Jack sledded down the Ouachita River levee at Forsythe Park Boat Dock.

In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency. Numerous businesses and government offices closed because of the threat.

In the wake of the storm, bitterly cold temperatures were forecast through the central and southern U.S. Highs were only expected to be near the freezing mark for parts of central Texas; these temperatures are about 20 to 30 degrees below mid-January averages from Texas into the nation's heartland, the weather service said.

Wind chills were below zero Tuesday for much of the northern Plains and upper Midwest. 

Overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, light snow was expected in the Mid-Atlantic; 1-3 inches of snow is likely.

Contributing: The Shreveport Times; The Associated Press