Winter storm cripples two-thirds of U.S.

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Los Angeles (US), Feb.3 (ANI): Two thirds of the United States of America (USA) has been brought to its knees by a winter snowstorm and ice turned streets.

At least two deaths have been reported. One of the deaths was that of a homeless man on Long Island in New York. He set himself on fire in trying to stay warm. The second death took place in Oklahoma where a 20-year-old woman was killed while being pulled on a sled by a pickup that crashed into a pole.

Dubbed the "Blizzard of Oz" in Kansas, the storm has coursed its way through the Midwest and Plains states - collapsing roofs, forcing highway and school closures, leaving tens of thousands without power and breaking snowfall and low-temperature records.

Airlines canceled about 6,300 flights Wednesday, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.com.

About a third of the canceled flights were out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, one of the nation's busiest hubs. Eighty-four flights were canceled at Los Angeles International Airport, the Los Angeles Times reports.

By late Wednesday, the blizzard, which pummeled Chicago with lightning, thunder and whiteout conditions, had narrowed its path along northern New England and upstate New York.

At its height, the storm had a following that more than rivaled Oprah Winfrey's Twitter audience: the National Weather Service website, which normally gets 70 million hits a day, was drawing as many as 20 million an hour Wednesday. (ANI)

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