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I-95 shutdown in Maine after 40-vehicle pileup (+video)

Both I-95 northbound lanes a the 30-mile stretch of highway between Newport and Bangor are closed.  At least six people are injured after a crash involving more than 40 vehicles.

Maine State Police say at least six people are injured after a crash involving more than 40 vehicles on Interstate 95 between Newport and Bangor.

State police spokesman Steve McCausland says the pileup happened around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in heavy snow and involved many cars, a school bus and a tractor trailer. No fatalities were immediately reported but McCausland says some of the injuries were serious.

Both northbound lanes on the 30-mile stretch of highway are closed, and drivers are being told to take exits in Etna and Newport to avoid the area. The closure is expected to last several hours.

The crash involved many cars, a school bus and a tractor trailer. McCausland said the interstate will be closed for the remainder of the morning, according to the Bangor Daily News.

McCausland said one trooper described the crash site as a “giant pile of metal.”

The Bangor Daily News also reported that much of Maine woke up to heavy snow falling and low visibility, and coastal areas were expected to feel the brunt of it, according to the weather service. Up to eight inches was expected in Waldo, Lincoln and Knox counties, according to the weather service.

The Bangor area and Somerset and Kennebec county were expected to get up to five inches, while Washington and Hancock counties could receive between four and eight inches.

Around the nation, Americans are dealing with cold weather challenges.

States of emergencies have already been declared and schools have already been closed ahead of wintry weather mix that is expected to continue to batter much of the South on Wednesday.

Heavy rain, snow, and temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below zero were forecast for several states. The wintry mix of precipitation was expected from northern Texas eastward across the Gulf states and into the Carolinas, according to the National Weather Service.

By early Thursday, forecasters said, relief is expected.

The latest storm comes after several others have hit much of the South, Mid-Atlantic Midwest and East Coast. Here's a look at how winter weather has affected some areas:

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MILESTONE FOR BOSTON

With 1.9 inches of snow overnight, Boston has now received more than 100 inches of snow this winter.

The National Weather Service reported Wednesday that the snowfall as recorded at Logan International Airport is now 101.8 inches for the season.

That makes this winter the second snowiest on record, behind only the 107.6 inches recorded in the winter of 1995-96.

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'BE GREAT NEIGHBORS'

With the new weather system coming in, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam urged people to check on their neighbors as the death toll from last week's ice storm climbed.

Haslam and state emergency officials flew over parts of the state Tuesday to survey the damage. At least 30 people have died across the state as a result of the ice storm and frigid temperatures. At least 10 are believed to have died as a result of hypothermia.

"The best thing we can do is ask people to be great neighbors," Haslam said.

Many people, especially the elderly, either don't have the resources to leave their homes or simply don't want to go somewhere else, he said. The Tennessee National Guard and other agencies have been doing welfare checks.

Some of the victims have died in their homes after being without heat. A number of people have been discovered dead outside their home, including two elderly people who are believed to have fallen and to have suffered from extreme exposure because they couldn't get up.

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HELP FROM NATIONAL GUARD

Virginia National Guard members improvised when they needed to carry two patients through heavy snow in Wise County.

First Sgt. Billy Bartlett with the 1033rd Engineer Company says in a news release that soldiers created stretchers from a combination of blankets and tarps.

The patients were taken to a medical evacuation site. One person needed dialysis, and the other was running low on oxygen. Specialist Nicholas Turner estimates that he and other soldiers carried the oxygen patient more than 150 yards through deep snow and ice.

Since Sunday, Guard members have helped the Wise County Sheriff's Office deliver food, water and medicine throughout the county.

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AIRPORT PREPARATIONS

With the storm approaching Wednesday morning, only about 30 flights had been canceled nationwide, according to the tracking website FlightAware.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport maintenance crews treated runways, taxiways and all roadways in anticipation of several inches of snow.

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MORE THAN MILK AND BREAD

Some folks are stocking up on more than pantry staples — they're headed for the liquor.

Customers at Riverside Wine & Spirits in Chattanooga, Tennessee, told WRCB-TV (http://bit.ly/1DphvwG) that they came in Tuesday to get alcohol before more snow and ice hit the region.

Worker Jamie Campbell said customers also stocked up last Friday before that snowstorm hit. Even though the store closed early due to the weather, Campbell said sales were still about $5,000 more than on a normal Friday night.

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SALT SHORTAGE

As snow and frigid temperatures continue in Ohio, communities in parts of the state are running short on road salt, city officials said.

Some cities have waited weeks for hundreds of tons of ordered salt, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported (http://bit.ly/1DQsL6q).

The region has recorded nearly 60 inches of snow since November. Lower-than average temperatures have made snow harder to melt and roads more difficult to clear.

For some cities, a serious salt problem is just one more snowfall away.

"We have enough to last this next week, but if it keeps consistently snowing it's going to be difficult," Middleburg Heights Service Director Jim Herron said.

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