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Battered and beleaguered, East Coast residents brace for latest powerful storm

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Snow is falling on the East Coast — from Baltimore to the Big Apple to Philly and lots of places in between — a day after and ice bombarded the Southeast. Here's a sampling of what the latest round of winter weather is wreaking:

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DIRE FORECAST: The National Weather Service called the storm "catastrophic ... crippling ... paralyzing ... choose your adjective" for the South, including Atlanta, where a storm a few weeks ago created huge traffic jams. A National Weather Service map of the storm showed possible effects hitting 22 states from Texas to Maine.

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UPSIDE-DOWN WEATHER: While Northeast residents suffered through another day of freezing temperatures, the temperatures soared to 63 degrees at the Winter Games in Sochi, providing Olympic visitors with opportunities for outdoor napping, sunbathing and even a dip in the Black Sea.

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IN THE DARK: More than 500,000 homes and businesses lacked power in several Southeastern states by Wednesday night. Power companies in the Northeast were preparing for widespread outages

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TREACHEROUS TRAVEL: More than 3,300 flights were cancelled across the country, according to the website FlightAware. At least 11 deaths across the South have been blamed on the weather, including three killed after an ambulance careened off a slick Texas highway and caught fire and a firefighter killed when he was knocked off an interstate ramp in Dallas. In the Northeast, municipalities imposed parking and travel restrictions so roadways and streets would be clear for plowing.

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POTHOLE PLETHORA: A relentless cycle of snow and bitter cold is testing the nation's infrastructure. New York City crews filled 69,000 potholes in the first five weeks of the year — nearly twice as many as the same period in 2013. In Iowa, a Des Moines official said the city has never endured so many broken water mains.

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WINTER CANCELS WINTER: A celebration of winter tourism in the Olympic village of Lake Placid, N.Y., has been postponed because of storm forecasts. Plans had called for visitors take part in skiing, bobsledding and other winter sports at the sites that hosted the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics. A new date has not been chosen.

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PROMPTING THE PROFANE: "Snow has become a four-letter word ... all along the East Coast this winter," said Tom McGarrigle, chairman of the Delaware County Council in suburban Philadelphia.

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STROKE RISK: Cold weather, high humidity and big daily temperature swings seem to land more people in the hospital with strokes, according to new information out of the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference in San Diego. The study finds that as it gets warmer, stroke risk falls 3 per cent for every 5 degrees.

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