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February 9, 2013

Huge storm blankets Northeast with 2 feet of snow

(Continued)

BOSTON —

Early snowfall was blamed for a 19-car pileup Friday in Cumberland, Maine, that caused minor injuries. In New York, hundreds of cars got stuck on the Long Island Expressway on Friday, and dozens remained disabled early Saturday as police worked to free them.

About 650,000 customers in the Northeast lost power during the height of the snowstorm, most of them in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Mass., lost electricity and shut down Friday night during the storm. Authorities say there's no threat to public safety.

At least five deaths were blamed on the storm, three in Canada and one in New York. In southern Ontario, an 80-year-old woman collapsed while shoveling her driveway and two men were killed in car crashes. In New York, a 74-year-old man died after being struck by a car in Poughkeepsie; the driver said she lost control in the snowy conditions, police said. One pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and killed Friday night in Prospect, Conn., state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.

Flooding was expected along coastlines still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, which hit New York and New Jersey the hardest and is considered Jersey's worst natural disaster.

In Manhattan, streets normally bustling after midnight, were quiet Saturday but for the hum of snowblowers, the scrape of shovels and the laughter from late night revelers who braved the snow.

Bill Tavonallo, 39, said he walked home on purpose from a Manhattan bar to enjoy the snow falling.

"With Sandy, we were scared. But this is wonderful," he said, his glasses crusted with ice. "It's nice to have a reason to slow down."

Fashion Week, a series of designer showings with some activities held under tents, went on mostly as scheduled in the city, though organizers put on additional crews to deal with the snow and ice, turned up the heat and fortified the tents. The snow did require some wardrobe changes: Designer Michael Kors was forced to arrive at the Project Runway show in Uggs.

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