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Snow and sleet pounded a large swath of the East Coast on Saturday, killing three and coating roads with ice and causing hundreds of crashes.

In Kentucky a man died when his pickup truck went off a snow-slickened road Thursday.

The Weather Channel reported that two other deaths in Oregon and Maine have also been blamed on the weather.

Thousands of people lost power and forecasters warned of blizzard-like conditions from Virginia to parts of the Northeast.

An estimated 73million Americans from as far north as Maine and as far south as Mississippi are under winter weather storm warnings, according to NBC.

Of the lower 48 states, 19 are now being affected by either winter storm warnings or advisories.

The snow storm, Helena, is gradually moving toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, with warnings and advisories in effect along the coasts and up through New England, according to The National Weather Service.

New York City is expected to see between three and five inches of snow today, while forecasters predict as much as eight inches in Long Island.

Authorities in Connecticut had to shut down Interstate 91 in both directions after a 30-car pileup clogged traffic, according to NBC Connecticut.

Police said the crash near exit 21 involved at least 20 cars, three tractor trailers and a tanker. No serious injuries were reported.

The mayor of Middletown said that fuel tanks from at least two of the trucks ruptured, spilling diesel fuel onto the highway.

State workers were at the scene trying to clean up the spill, the mayor said.

NBC Connecticut is updating a list of local institutions that have closed due to the weather.

Hundreds of flights were canceled, according to NBC, more than 50 flights were canceled at New York JFK and Newark airports early Saturday. Delta canceled 175 flights, most of which were into and out of its hub in Atlanta.

Police investigated several fatal crashes as potentially storm-related, but some of the South’s biggest cities — Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh — appeared to avoid the worst of the storm.

Authorities praised residents for learning the lessons of past storms that resulted in icy gridlock, where thousands of people were stranded along the interstates. But officials warned that bitter cold would keep roads treacherous well after the snow and sleet stopped.

‘If I tell you anything it would be stay home,’ North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. ‘Do not go out and drive on the roads unless you absolutely have to.’

Cooper was supposed to have been sworn in Saturday at an outdoor ceremony attended by thousands.

He instead rushed through a 20-minute indoor oath-taking Friday.

‘Consider yourselves the chosen few,’ Cooper jokingly told family, friends and well-wishers able to attend his swearing-in Friday.

North Carolina cities Burlington, Greensboro and Roxboro received eight inches or more of snow, and several inches fell in southeast Virginia, where a blizzard warning was issued for the cities along the coast.

North Carolina reported more than 250 crashes, while Virginia had more than 100.

In Charlotte alone, 35 accidents were reported since 10pm on Friday, according to NBC News.

Hundreds of crashes were reported in Tennessee starting Friday.

Some of these were fender benders involving school buses driving along roads that were covered by up to two inches of snow.

Source: The Daily Mail