Several flights canceled ahead of expected winter storm on the East Coast

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US forecasters called the ongoing winter storm a "bomb cyclone" for its rapid and rare drop in atmospheric pressure.

More than 3,000 flights have been cancelled within the US, as of Thursday morning, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Despite their high rates of cancellations, major airports in the Northeast remained open Thursday.

A total of 12 flights had been canceled departing and arriving from Portland International Airport, mainly from NY and Boston.

The weather service has issued blizzard warnings for the coast from parts of Rhode Island to ME, but Oravec expects the blizzard warnings could be extended as far south as parts of NY.

Airlines have cancelled thousands of flights as an intense winter storm swept along the East Coast Thursday.

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In Washington D.C., the federal government delayed opening offices on Thursday as blowing snow swirled in the capital.

Power firms have warned of possible fuel shortages to come since heating units in homes and commercial buildings running furiously to fend off the deep freeze.

Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings have been issued along the Atlantic coast from Virginia Beach to Maine. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for all of downstate New York.

One family traveling from O'Hare to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was glad the winter storm was not hitting Chicago. Savannah Hilton Head airport in Georgia closed Wednesday and remained closed Thursday, according to local news outlets.

The National Weather Service says the storm will probably intensify so rapidly that it will qualify as a "bomb cyclone".