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Huge swath of US hit by winter storm bringing, snow, cold

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Residents across a huge swath of the U.S. were hunkered down as a massive winter storm packing snow, ice and high winds, followed by possible record-breaking cold, moved up the Eastern Seaboard, with the worst conditions expected from the Carolinas to Maine. The massive storm expected on Thursday began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico, first hitting the Florida panhandle. It has prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages. Wind gusts of 50 mph to 60 mph, strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines, are predicted in places where the National Weather Service has issued…