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      Powerful storm system blasts US West; 5 killed

      This image provided by the San Bernardino County Fire Department shows a traffic accident in the San Bernardino Mountains in California.

      A powerful storm system is marching across the Western U.S., leaving parts of Arizona, Nevada and California soaked as it bears down on New Mexico with predictions of widespread snow and freezing temperatures.

      The fierce weather has led to at least five deaths, with flooding and water rescues reported in California, stranded drivers in Nevada and hundreds of crashes among desert dwellers in Arizona and New Mexico.

      In eastern New Mexico, where freezing rain left highways slick, state police say a 4-year-old girl was killed Friday when her family's car slid across U.S. 70 and overturned.

      Snowplows were busy clearing roads on Saturday as forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque braced for what they called a "big kahuna" of a storm.

      The system was expected to head east and reach the Atlantic Coast by the middle of next week.