Blizzards pile 3ft of snow on New England

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Much of north-eastern America was brought to a standstill after a blizzard of near-record intensity swept through the region, kiling at least a dozen people.

Much of north-eastern America was brought to a standstill after a blizzard of near-record intensity swept through the region, kiling at least a dozen people.

Boston and other parts of New England were hit especially hard with up to 3ft of snow, temperatures below 0F (minus 18C) and winds of over 50mph.

The storm closed airports, forcing the cancellation of thousands of flights in Chicago, New York, Boston and elsewhere, while road traffic was reduced to a trickle. Manhattan was buried under 18in of snow.

In Massachusetts, the Governor, Mitt Romney, declared a state of emergency and mobilised the National Guard to help evacuate coastal areas in case of flooding.

At the height of the storm, snow was piling up at the rate of 3in an hour, with ferocious winds piling it into drifts 6ft high. "The snow is falling in feet, not in inches," Mr Romney said, saying the winds and high tides were creating particular problems.

The storm, which moved out of the Midwest, turned into a north-easter as it reached the east coast, picking up moisture from the sea and dumping it back on land as snow.

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