(WASHINGTON) -- A massive winter storm moving across the Upper Midwest has merged with another system on the East Coast, bringing what could amount to a record March snowfall for the DC area, with snow extending all the way to New England. .
Areas from Washington, D.C., to Boston could get up to a foot of snow Wednesday into Thursday. Several inches inches of snow was forecast from Philadelphia to Boston with 6-12 inches possible inland. Significant coastal flooding and high winds are also expected.
Already, up to 3 feet of snow has fallen in parts of Montana, and the Dakotas have seen a foot of accumulation in parts. In Minnesota, a foot snow has already accumulated. And in Chicago, a foot or more of snow fell in some spots.
In downtown Washington, D.C., as much as 8 inches of snow is possible, with up to a foot west of the city. Some areas of Virginia and West Virginia could get up to two feet of snow.
Thousands of flights have already been cancelled all up and down the coast.
More than 4,000 salt-spreading trucks, plows and other equipment began a pre-dawn assault. The Virginia Department of Transportation said the trucks are ready to roll at 4 a.m. Wednesday in northern Virginia. Forecasters have said rain will turn to a heavy, wet snow in that region and along the Interstate 81 corridor.
VDOT says it has plenty in its snow-removal budget to tackle the storm, with one-third of its budget for that purpose still available.
Meantime, Dominion Virginia Power, Pepco and other utilities have mobilized utility crews as well to areas of the state where the storm's impact is expected to be the worst.
Highway officials in Maryland say their 41 million dollar snow budget has been spent, but that won't stop them from keeping crews available and working around the clock.
The District of Columbia's Department of Public Works says it will have 230 plow trucks deployed overnight. Another 240 vehicles will be deployed in Prince George's County.
AAA Mid-Atlantic is advising area motorists to stay off the roads if at all possible.
The auto club's John Townsend says commuters who normally drive into Washington should take mass transit or stay home. He says road conditions are likely to be treacherous, and staying off the roads will make it easier for crews to clear them.
ABC News Radio and The Associated Press contributed content to this report.
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