The Midwest, Tennessee Valley, southern Appalachians and the Northeast will likely get up to 3 inches of snow. But Maine, northern New Hampshire and northern Vermont could be hit by up to more than a foot of snow, The Weather Channel said. One town in the area, Eastport, Maine, has already been pummeled by 109 inches of snow in the last 23 days, according to The Weather Channel's Tom Niziol.
"It's pretty much overwhelming and we have another storm coming soon. It's going to be difficult," said Eastport's Police Chief Rodney Merritt. "It's going to be tough to handle."
More than 70 roofs have collapsed in Massachusetts, state emergency officials said. One of those was in Sutton, where part of a shopping plaza's roof collapsed Wednesday afternoon; no one was injured because the town had ordered an evacuation after some workers there said they heard cracking noises, NBC's Boston station reported.
At least seven people have died nationwide from hypothermia or car accidents attributed to the winter conditions.
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In Cambridge, Massachusetts, five people were hit by snow falling off of the roof an ice rink on Wednesday, temporarily trapping four of them. Emergency responders had to remove one person stuck in the snow and they transported two people to the hospital, according to New England Channel News. Firefighters in Maryland's Montgomery County came to the rescue of a deer stuck in a frozen lake on Wednesday, NBC Washington reported.
Power outages hit some areas: Some 33,000 people in Tennessee were without power, while about 12,000 had no power in North Carolina, state officials said.
Some 1,300 flights were cancelled Wednesday; Amtrak is planning modified service on the northeast corridor due to extreme cold and weather. In Chicago, the city schools said they'd shutter Thursday, while others said they start late in anticipation of record-breaking cold and winds, NBC Chicago reported.
"The health and safety of our students is the district's top priority, and the extreme weather expected tomorrow could present real dangers," district leader Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement.
NBC News' Tom Costello contributed to this report.