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Wintry weather smacks the Midwest, heads east

(AP) - Hundreds of flights are canceled and tow trucks are getting lots of calls as a winter storm blows cold air and snow from the Midwest toward the Northeast.

Airlines have canceled more than 1,800 flights nationwide today. More than 500 flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare airport have been canceled, according to FlightStats.com, and others are delayed.

Up to a foot of snow is on the ground in Michigan, where the auto club AAA says it had 500 calls by midmorning from drivers dealing with spinouts, cars in ditches and dead batteries.

Indiana authorities say the weather may have been a factor in a fatal crash last evening involving a pickup and a bus carrying casino patrons. Police say the truck's driver was killed and 15 bus passengers were injured.

The brunt of the storm is expected to reach New York and New England tonight into tomorrow. Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area and the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for New York's Long Island.

Forecasters say highs could be near zero in some places, and gusty winds will make it feel even colder.