Major snowstorm bears down on Northeast; 3,000 flights canceled

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A powerful winter storm bearing down on the Northeast forced thousands of flight cancelations Thursday, snarling travel plans for fliers across the country as it threatened to dump more than a foot of snow.

The airlines canceled more than 3,300 flights Wednesday through Friday, including more than 2,700 on Thursday, according to Emergency officials warned of high winds, coastal flooding and possible power outages from New England down to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in what could be the most powerful storm many in the region have seen all winter.

The Boston area and eastern Maine could get 12 to 18 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a blizzard warning for all of Long Island until 6 p.m. Eastern Long Island was bracing for 12 to 16 inches of snow, with a potential for power outages.

"The roads are in bad shape ... covered and icy," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said. He said snow was falling at up to 2 inches per hour and expected to intensify as the day went on.

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