Winter storm paralyzes region

    The second major winter storm to hit the region in a week has halted travel on major highways and caused major transit disruptions.

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    Low visibility, high winds and driving snow prompted Governor Ed Rendell to shut down the Schuylkill Expressway, the Vine Expressway and the Blue Route. These major road closures could make for a rough afternoon rush hour as drivers try to navigate city streets.

    Septa riders could also have a tough time making it home. Septa officials say all bus routes will stop running at 5 PM.

    As of mid afternoon,  most trolleys and regional rail lines continued to operate. The Broad Street Subway and the Market Frankford El will run throughout the storm.

    Downed trees and wires have left more than 15,000 customers in Chester and Delaware Counties without power. And Peco officials say the situation is worsening.

    Forecasters expect high winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour to kick in this afternoon, causing even more outages.

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