Snow piles up in Midwest storm; traffic snarled

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The snow that began falling late Thursday afternoon was expected to continue through Friday as the storm moves east. Most of the snowfall should be east of our area by midday.

Chicago's two biggest airports, O'Hare and Midway, had hundreds of flight cancellations on Friday - some of which were canceled on Thursday before the storm arrived - because of Mateo, FlightAware reported.

That would be a significant improvement over the forecast from Thursday night, when it appeared the Chicago area could see as much as 12 inches by Friday afternoon, and up to 17 inches by Sunday.

In Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago, a man in his 60s died after suffering a heart attack while shoveling snow Friday morning, Edward Hospital spokesman Keith Hartenberger told the Chicago Tribune.

"Our city is tackling the first major snow storm we have seen in several years - and it's clear that Chicagoans are rising to the challenge", Emanuel said in the statement.

This round of severe winter weather is continuing to affect a large region around lower Lake of MI, including northern IL, southern MI and northern IN, till Monday morning. "I saw the plows come by, so I figured I'd get a jump on it so I wouldn't have to shovel it when it's 4 feet high". As of 9:30 a.m., more than 740 flights have been cancelled on Friday at O'Hare, and more than 280 have been cancelled on Friday at Midway.

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FlightAware.com, which tracks airline traffic, said about 1,050 USA flights were canceled, with about one in five flights into or out of Chicago and Detroit airports called off, per Reuters.

American, United and Southwest airlines warned travelers to expect more flight cancellations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Meteorologist Heather Orow in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says the storm is "generally going to be an issue for travel". People should stay off the roads if possible, but if they drive they should expect delays and hazardous conditions.

Chicago officials say about 6 to 7 inches of snow has fallen on the city and they're gearing up for three more waves through the weekend.

Crashes were reported, including a multi-vehicle smashup that closed a stretch of eastbound Interstate 94 near Ann Arbor. Classes were also canceled in the city's suburbs.

Schools in Detroit shut for the day along with Wayne State University in Detroit and other schools across MI. Numerous school districts in Nebraska and Iowa also canceled or delayed schools Friday because of the snow and frigid temperatures, according to the Associated Press.

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