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Snow clearing crews in Pine Island, Minn were out early trying to clear roads before morning commuters headed to work on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. The first major snowstorm of the season began its slow eastward march across the Midwest early Thursday, creating treacherous driving conditions and threatening to disrupt some of the nation's busiest airports ahead of the holiday weekend. (AP Photo/The Rochester Post-Bulletin, Jerry Olson)

Winter storms hit U.S.

A winter storm system that blew

through Christmas Day with Gulf Coast tornadoes and snow in the nation's

midsection headed for the Northeast, spreading blizzard conditions that slowed holiday travel all week. The death toll rose to six with car accidents on snow and highways.