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U.S. winter storm kills firefighter, halts flights

STORY: The massive winter storm churning across the United States has left at least one person dead, knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people, and cut off travel around the nation.

Grand Rapids officials say a volunteer firefighter there came into contact with a live power line knocked down by ice in the city suburbs.

The National Weather Service says a broad swath of the U.S. from Washington State to New England is under advisories, with another 18 inches of snow and wind chills equal to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thousands of flights are either delayed or cancelled, and roads have been left impassable or treacherous to drivers.

Residents in storm-struck areas have been warned against any road travel.

The storm also cut power for some 900,000 homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin, according to the data aggregator Poweroutage.us.

The Minneapolis school system is holding remote classes for tens of thousands of students for the rest of the week.

A separate storm system has spawned uncommon winter weather in California, with rarely-seen snow flurries in San Francisco and blizzard conditions expected at high elevations in the state, even in Los Angeles.