The storm in the United States’ Northeast disrupted travel in addition to closing schools and government offices. AFP / Jewel SAMAD
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The French Alps were on maximum avalanche alert Thursday as Storm Eleanor swept through Europe, killing at least four people and fanning rare winter wildfires in Corsica. The United States' first major winter storm of 2018 bore down on the Northeast, meanwhile, closing schools and government offices and disrupting travel as work crews scrambled to clear roads of snow before plummeting temperatures turn it to treacherous ice.With the mountains packed with skiers for the school holidays, major resort Val d'Isere closed its runs for the day because of heavy snowfall, while Chamonix shut many of its lifts as a precautionary measure.At the other extreme, nearly 400 firefighters on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica were battling blazes fanned by Eleanor's strong gusts of wind, with three people injured in a fire overnight.Eleanor, the fourth winter storm to hit Europe since December, swept into the continent Wednesday after battering Britain and Ireland.The storm dumped snow on Florida's capital Tallahassee Wednesday for the first time in 30 years, and was expected to last through the day.The snow storm brought a break in extreme cold temperatures that have gripped much of the region since Christmas, frozen part of the Niagara Falls, played havoc with public works and impeded firefighting in places where temperatures barely broke minus 6 Celsius.
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