Major snowstorm hits Chicago, heads toward New England


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A woman carries a shovel through a parking lot during blizzard conditions in Chicago, Illinois, February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young A woman carries a shovel through a parking lot during blizzard conditions in Chicago, Illinois, February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young


A major winter storm swept through parts of the Midwest on Sunday, dumping more than a foot (30 cm) of snow in the Chicago area before tracking toward New England, closing schools throughout the Midwest and East. 
Chicago Public Schools, the third largest public school system in the United States, along with districts in Detroit, Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, canceled classes for Monday as the National Weather Service issued storm warnings and watches continued from western Iowa into upper New England. 
"Now we are worried about the winds, with blizzard warnings and near white-out conditions," said Amy Seeley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chicago. "It's reducing visibilities and will cause problems for people traveling tonight." 
A half-foot (15 cm) of snow was forecast for Cleveland, Ohio, and even more could pile up in New York City and the Boston area, the National Weather Service said, with winds of up to 40 mph (65 kph). 
Across the country, the storm was a factor in about 2,000 flight cancellations and 2,100 flight delays, largely in Chicago, according to the online site FlightStats. 
In Champaign, Illinois, 68 homes were evacuated when a tanker truck overturned on Interstate 57, according to a statement from Governor Bruce Rauner's office. The tanker was found to have no hazardous material but the freeway remained closed late on Sunday afternoon, according to the statement. 
The storm knocked out power to nearly 20,000 customers in Illinois, the office said. 
The storm path extends from which forecast up to 18 inches (45 cm) of snow in the Chicago area. 
Bitter cold weather is forecast to follow the snow across the country. In Grand Island, Nebraska, the temperature plunged to 7 Fahrenheit (-14 Celsius) by mid-afternoon on Sunday. 
Cathy McDonagh, bar manager at Curragh Traditional Irish Pub in northwest Chicago, said the pub was open for Super Bowl watching, but the snow could put a damper on the festivities. 
"Most people will have a house party, and judging from the weather we won't get much of a crowd," she added.
Eight inches (20 cm) of snow in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, did not faze Jason Story, 36, who had plans to watch the big game at home with his family. 
"We're going to stay nice and cozy warm in the house and watch the game," he said. 
In Iowa, the storm forced the cancellation hundreds of church services as 3 to 10 inches (7-25 cm) of snow was falling across the state. 
The storm followed a blizzard last week that pummeled parts of the East Coast, especially New England states, where up to three feet (90 cm) of snow piled up. New York City had prepared for a major storm but was spared the brunt. 
In Massachusetts, the forecasted snow prompted officials to postpone proceedings scheduled for Monday in the murder trial of ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez. In Chicago, proceedings at the U.S District Court, Northern District of Illinois, were canceled for Monday. 
Slippery and snowy roads were reported in numerous states and the Ohio Turnpike banned travel on Sunday for some traffic, such as vehicles with trailers. In South Dakota, a woman died on Saturday when her car slid off an icy road, the state Department of Public Safety said on Sunday.

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