Snowstorm pounds the Northeast, affecting flights, closing schools

(CNN)The Northeast was slammed Thursday with what appeared to be the most significant storm of the winter, with blizzard conditions and as much as a foot of snow in some places.

The first snow-related death was reported in New York on Thursday when a doorman shoveling snow on the Upper East Side died after slipping and falling through a glass window, New York police said.

Miguel Gonzalez, 59, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, sustained cuts to his neck and face. He pronounced dead at Metropolitan Hospital Center, according to police.New York, Boston and Philadelphia closed their public schools for the day. New York said it would reopen its school system Friday.

All state offices in New Jersey were closed for nonessential personnel.

Airlines had canceled more than 1,800 flights along the storm path as of mid-afternoon Thursday, according to FlightAware. Most of those were at the Newark, New Jersey; Boston; and New York's LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.

More than 60 million people were dealing with the wintry weather, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.

Winter storm warnings were in effect, stretching from Pennsylvania through parts of New York, New Jersey and New England.The National Weather Service estimated that 8 to 12 inches of snow in New York and 12 to 15 inches of snow in Boston were possible before the storm was over.

New York officials said wind gusts reached 50 mph.

Majid Padellan ventured outside for a smoke break in Brooklyn around 1 p.m., and he said the biggest thing he noticed was the "brutal" wind.

"The wind is howling. It's pretty bad," he told CNN in a phone interview. "The snow is blowing in every which direction. It's still pretty fierce."The good news is that the storm is expected to move out quickly. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said snow is expected to stop by early evening Thursday.

However, snowfall in Boston could continue into the weekend, and temperatures won't rise above freezing there until Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Philadelphia mostly "dodged a bullet," Mayor Jim Kenney said, as the city received a couple of inches of snow.With whiteout conditions and snowy, icy roads, officials urged residents not to drive. In Suffolk County, New York, bus service was not operating for the day. In New York City, subways and buses were running with few delays, de Blasio said.

Officials said they had not made a decision on whether to shut the Long Island Expressway, the main roadway on the island.

New Jersey State Police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Flynn told CNN that his department has responded to about 200 reported crashes, but none have been serious or fatal.

A video from Manhattan shows the dangerous conditions, with buses becoming stuck in the streets and snarling traffic.

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