Winter storm heads North; Snow could reach 18 inches in some parts of New England

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A person walks in the snow on King Street in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. A brutal winter storm smacked the coastal Southeast with a rare blast of snow and ice Wednesday, hitting parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with their heaviest snowfall in nearly three decades. (Matthew Fortner/The Post And Courier via AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on massive winter storm in the Northeastern U.S. (all times local):

8:05 a.m.

Snow that could pile as high as 18 inches (46 centimeters) in some spots of New England has begun falling.

A light snow started falling in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire just before dawn Thursday.

Snow is expected to increase after sunrise and peak during the late morning through the afternoon. Rain over Cape Cod and the Islands is likely to change over to snow in the afternoon.

The storm is not just bringing snow but high winds with gusts as high as 75 mph in some spots, which could bring down power lines and cause power outages.

There also is a risk of coastal flooding.

Schools across the region are closed for the day, and governors are urging people to stay off the roads.

7:20 a.m.

A state of emergency is in effect on parts of Maryland’s Eastern Shore in response to a coastal winter storm.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued the declaration late Wednesday for the Lower Shore, including Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

Ankle deep snow and wind gusts approaching 50 mph (80 kph) covered the Ocean City Boardwalk, which was under a blizzard warning Thursday.

Parts of Southern Maryland also reported significant snow accumulations.

Wind restrictions were put in place Thursday on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The Coast Guard restricted ships from entering the Port of Baltimore.

Numerous school systems closed throughout the state, including in Baltimore City, where the teachers’ union called for closures after reporting heating issues in numerous schools.

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6:50 a.m.

The Hampton Roads region of Virginia is bearing the worst of a winter storm that prompted Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency.

Dominion Energy reported more than 35,000 customers in southeastern Virginia without power Thursday morning. The Northern Neck region had 635 outages, with no other significant outages in the rest of the state.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was closed to all traffic early Thursday morning because of the weather conditions which included snow and heavy winds.

Virginia State Police reported that from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday, it received 212 emergency calls for service in its Chesapeake region, which includes Hampton Roads, including 101 crashes. The Richmond region reported 123 calls for service and 72 crashes.

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