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Nor’easter slams East Coast with heavy snow, threatens more power failures

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A second nor’easter barreled down on the Northeast on Wednesday, promising to snarl the evening commute with heavy snow just days after a deadly winter storm left hundreds of thousands of customers without power.

Forty-eight million people from Maryland to Maine were facing winter storm advisories Wednesday from the storm, part of a system that has dumped snow across the country since it first hit the West Coast late last week.

Photos: Nor’easter slams East Coast … again

Witnesses reported lightning and peals of thunder across the region during the snowstorm — a rare phenomenon called “thundersnow.”

The new storm canceled thousands of flights and was making roads treacherous in major cities, including Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

“With the roads extremely slippery, driving in it is not going to be fun,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

While last Friday’s storm pummeled the Interstate 95 corridor with strong rains and winds, this time the danger comes from snow — and a lot of it. At its peak, the nor’easter is projected to blanket the region with snowfall rates of up to 3 inches an hour.

The women’s basketball team at Northeastern University got an unplanned workout Wednesday when its bus got stuck in the snow in Philadelphia, where the Colonial Athletic Association championship tournament is taking place.

A school spokesperson told NBC Boston that the bus stalled a few blocks from the team’s hotel after practice — so the players got out and pushed it back on course.

“They raced off the bus to help push, got it moving a couple of feet and around the bend, off the hill,” the spokesperson said.

Reinforced by a cold front moving offshore to the Atlantic, the storm was expected to intensify into Thursday morning as it moved north.

With the storm track having shifted from original projections, part of the Philadelphia-New York corridor — one of the most populated regions in the country — were particularly hard hit, forecasters said.

The town of Sloatsburg, New York, in Rockland County, topped the list, having gotten 23 inches of snow in the 24 hours through 8 p.m. ET, according to the National Weather Service, and New York City was projected to get 8 to 12 inches of snow overnight.




Image: Northeast nor'easter

Cars drive through wet snow along a highway in the Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday.