Heavy snow to blanket upper Midwest

Major winter storm continues to pound US (Photos)

Major winter storm continues to pound US (Photos)

Drivers are advised to use caution while making their way to work Friday morning as a powerful winter storm that could bring up to 12 inches of total snowfall continues to push through the Chicago area over the weekend.

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.

The U.S. National Weather Service said additional snow accumulations of two to four inches (5-10 cm) are expected in Chicago area till Friday evening.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city was gearing up for more snow through the weekend after crews dealt with 6 to 7 inches overnight.

Michigan State Police said about 50 vehicles were involved in the Friday afternoon pileup in the highway's eastbound lanes just east of Kalamazoo.

All public schools in the third biggest US city of Chicago were closed on Friday as severe winter storm hit the lower Great Lakes region.

The Illinois Department of Transportation also has deployed about 370 plows in the Chicago area to clear local expressways.

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"Periods of heavy snow will arrive into Friday across the southern Great Lakes", said weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Belles.

The Great Lakes region was expected to see additional snowfall over the weekend, while the current storm was forecast to move eastward to upstate NY and New England regions by Saturday.

The weather service also said travel will be "very hard to impossible at times, including during the morning commute on Friday". Snow across southern and central MI ranged from 7 inches on the western side of the state to about 5 inches in the Detroit area.

Almost 1,000 flights were delayed and another 1,500 canceled at Detroit and Chicago airports.

American, United, Delta, and Southwest airlines warned travelers to expect more flight cancellations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Chicago was forecast to receive as much as 14 inches (35 centimeters) of snow with Detroit expecting up to 9 inches (23 centimeters).

Hank Stawasz was out shoveling his driveway, clearing a path for the retiree to exit his home in the Detroit suburb of Livonia. 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. "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".

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