Late-season winter storm leaves three dead across Northeast

iStock/Ingram Publishing(NEW YORK) -- Falling temperatures and icy conditions were major concerns in much of the Northeast on Wednesday after a late-winter snowstorm that stretched from Washington, D.C., to New England, halted school, work and travel for millions of Americans, and left three people dead as a result of the severe conditions.

Tuesday's powerful nor'easter left much of the Northeast paralyzed, though fell short of anticipated snow fall in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

With only a week left in what has mostly been a mild winter, the storm dumped between one and two feet of snow in many areas. There was more than a foot in Portland, Maine, about 22 inches in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a high of 41 inches in Bridgewater, New York, located between Syracuse and Albany.

Winds were also severe, with a whopping 79 mph winds recorded at the high end in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

But several cities of the I-95 corridor were largely spared from the storm's worst effects -- with two inches of snow seen in the nation's capital, two inches in Baltimore, just under five inches in Philadelphia and a little over seven inches in parts of New York City.

But even where the weather forecast fell short of expectations, it exacted a heavy human cost in a few cases.

During Tuesday's storm, an elderly man was struck by a snow plow and killed in East Hartford, Connecticut; a 16-year-old girl whose sedan skidded out of control died after striking a tree in New Hampshire; and a 47-year-old Staten Island man died of a heart attack while shoveling outside of his parents’ home.

Because the storm shifted inland from its originally projected path, the New York City area got dramatically less snow than expected. But many areas were under special weather advisories on Wednesday morning as falling temperatures threatened to turn the snow, sleet and sloppy mix into a slippery mess, sparking concerns about black ice for morning drivers and slick sidewalks for pedestrians.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement for Northern Vermont and New York, urging people in the area not to travel.

"Travel is not recommended this morning," the NWS said in a statement early Wednesday.

"Extremely difficult travel conditions continue through the morning commute due to snow covered and slippery roads and poor visibilities from snowfall and blowing snow."

Strong wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour could lead to blowing and drifting snow in many areas received accumulating snow, reducing visibility to less than one mile at times, the NWS said.

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Passenger who forced Honolulu emergency landing tells FBI ‘we all have’ terroristic thoughts

Passenger who forced Honolulu emergency landing tells FBI 'we all have' terroristic thoughtsiStock/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- The Turkish national who forced the emergency landing of American Airlines flight 31 in Honolulu on Friday allegedly told FBI agents "we all have" terroristic ideas, and pantomimed shooting an agent during his interview, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hawaii on Monday.

En route from Los Angeles to Honolulu, 25-year-old Anil Uskanli alarmed passengers and crewmembers while acting "strange," forcing the pilot lock down the flight deck and prompting the U.S. Pacific Command to send two F-22 fighter jets to escort the aircraft into Hawaii.

F22's taking off from Honolulu to escort American Airlines flight 31 #Hawaii

— Anthony Quintano 🌴 (@AnthonyQuintano) May 19, 2017

"We all have those ideas," he said when asked if he ever had terroristic thoughts.

According to the complaint, Uskanli boarded the plane without any luggage, carrying only a phone, laptop, charger, and miscellaneous items in his pockets.

Not long after he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing at LAX after breaching a security door while under the influence, crew escorted him down the jet bridge in a wheelchair.

Once aboard the Airbus 321, he plopped into a seat in first class. At a flight attendant's repeated urging, Uskanli eventually moved to 35B, his assigned seat.

After the flight took off, Uskanli began repeatedly moving his laptop from the seatback pocket to the space under the seat, "uttering things and talking to himself," one passenger told FBI agents.

He then got up to use the lavatory, but failed to lock the door, the complaint adds. When another passenger attempted to enter the lavatory, Uskanli allegedly began "yelling and pounding on the walls."

After flight attendants escorted him back to his seat, they found what appeared to be cigarette pieces around the toilet.

A short time later, Uskanli "wrapped a blanket around his head, picked up his laptop," and shuffled towards the front of the aircraft.

A flight attendant used a beverage cart to block the aisle, but Uskanli shoved back, then set his laptop on the cart, triggering immediate alarm among the crew. The flight attendant was concerned following reports that terrorists are attempting to target aircraft with explosives concealed inside electronics, the complaint explains.

While an off-duty law enforcement officer steered Uskanli back to his seat, a flight attendant barricaded the laptop in the rear of the aircraft -- standard procedure for handling a possible explosive device. To further mitigate the impact of a potential in-flight bomb, the pilot descended to 5,000 feet, according to the complaint.

Uskanli was restrained with duct tape, witnesses say.

Upon landing, Uskanli was escorted off the flight by law enforcement, and bomb technicians and canine units seized the laptop and secured the plane. No explosives were found inside the laptop, authorities say.

Uskanli's urinalysis came back positive for benzodiazepine. Other field sobriety tests indicated he may have been high on stimulants or cannabis, according to the complaint.

During a post-incident interview with FBI agents, Uskanli "made a gun shape with his fingers and pretended to shoot,"simulated a ‘chopping motion’" at an agent's neck, and threatened to kill a female agent, according to the complaint.

Asked if he planned to hurt anyone, he told agents, "it depends on the day."

He was charged with interfering with a flight crew, and was scheduled to appear in court Monday.

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