A winter storm pounding the Midwest caused at least two deaths Friday, authorities said, while closing schools and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
Snow-related crashed snarled highways across southern Michigan, with one person killed when a semitrailer struck the rear of a car stopped in traffic on U.S. 23 near Flint, police said.
A Michigan State Police trooper was hospitalized after a pickup truck lost control and slammed into his stopped squad on Interstate 94 northeast of Detroit. A pileup on the same highway just east of Kalamazoo in southwestern Michigan of collected 38 vehicle including 16 semitrailers in eastbound lanes Friday afternoon, causing only minor injuries.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city was gearing up for three more rounds of snow through the weekend after crews dealt with 6 to 7 inches overnight.
"The good news is we're tried and tested here," he said. "We're up to it."
The National Weather Service reported 10 inches (25) of snow on the ground Friday afternoon in suburban Chicago and 11 inches (28 centimeters) near South Bend, Indiana. Chicago was forecast to receive as much as 14 inches (35 centimeters) of snow with Detroit expecting up to 9 inches (23 centimeters).
Snow across southern and central Michigan ranged from 7 inches on the western side of the state to more than 2 inches in the Detroit area.
Hank Stawasz was out shoveling his driveway by hand, clearing a path for the retiree to exit his home in the Detroit suburb of Livonia.
"It's part of living in Michigan," a smiling Stawasz said from underneath his Detroit Red Wings winter hat. "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."
More than 1,000 flights were canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and more than 300 flights were canceled at Midway, the Chicago Department of Aviation reported Friday. More than 260 flights were canceled at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan, by early Friday.
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American, United, Delta 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, said Friday morning 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.
Slide-offs and crashes were reported on the roads early Friday in the Chicago and Detroit areas. A multi-vehicle crash that closed a stretch of eastbound Interstate 94 near Ann Arbor, but no severe injuries were reported.
Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully said 300 salt-spreading plows hit the streets late Thursday and would continue their work through the weekend.
The expectation of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students Friday. Classes were also canceled in the city's suburbs. CPS officials said Friday morning they expected classes to resume Monday.
Schools in Detroit shut for the day along with Wayne State University in Detroit and other schools across Michigan.
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Students in the Milwaukee Public School District — Wisconsin's largest school district — have Friday off. Schools across Nebraska and Iowa closed or delayed the start of classes.