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Updated: February 26, 2010 18:38 IST

Huge storm cuts power in US, fans fires

AP
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A person rides a bicycle across Broad Street in view of City Hall during a winter snow storm in Philadelphia, on Friday. Photo: AP.
A person rides a bicycle across Broad Street in view of City Hall during a winter snow storm in Philadelphia, on Friday. Photo: AP.

A windy winter storm plodding over the northeast of the United States has knocked out power to thousands, fanned a huge fire in coastal New Hampshire and disrupted air and road travel.

Utility companies are working to restore power to hundreds of thousands of people across the region. Gusts of 50 mph (80 kph) have been reported as the storm drops snow, rain and sleet.

Officials are blaming the wind for helping the spread of an overnight hotel fire in Hampton, New Hampshire, that destroyed an entire block of businesses.

Crews across the area are working to clear roads and airport runways as the morning commute begins. Thousands of flights have been cancelled.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, declared a snow day for schools after 10 inches (25 centimeters) fell.

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