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February storm

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A storm billed as the worst in decades barreled into the Northeast on Wednesday, hammering big cities and small towns alike with deep snow and thick ice, stranding hundreds of motorists and shuttering airports and schools across the Midwest.

By midday, Chicago had received 20.2 inches of snow - the city's third-largest amount on record. A foot or more was dumped on parts of Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and upstate New York.

New York City expected to get up to three-quarters of an inch of ice before the mix of sleet and freezing rain warms up to rain.

The storm was, if not unprecedented, extraordinarily rare, National Weather Service meteorologist Thomas Spriggs said.

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