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February 2, 2011
Midwest buckles under storm
CHICAGO (AP) -- A massive storm billed as the worst in decades barreled toward the northeast Wednesday, leaving vast swaths from Chicago to New York paralyzed by snow and ice, stranding hundreds of motorists all night and shuttering airports and schools. Chicago had 19.5 inches of snow, ranking the storm the third-largest on record to hit the city with still more possible. As much as 18 inches fell in Missouri, more than a foot dropped on northern Indiana and southeast Kansas, and Oklahoma saw up to a foot. Spots in northern New York also had more than a foot of snow by Wednesday morning. New York City was expected to get up to three-quarters of an inch of ice by midday before the mix of sleet and freezing rain warms up to rain. Forecasters warned ice accumulations could knock down some tree limbs and power lines across the storm's more than 2,000-mile path. Ice also could affect transit service, even as plow drivers struggled to keep up with the snow on many roads. (32 images)

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A sign on I-70 and Pittman Road in Independence, Mo. alerts drivers that I-70 is closed East of I-470 Tuesday evening following a day of blowing snow closed much of I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. Kansas City Star / John Sleezer

Pedestrians make their way down Madison St., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, in Chicago as a blizzard moves into Illinois. Commuters, corporate executives and government officials braced for a storm of proportions that haven't been seen in decades _ one that could dump as much as 2 feet of snow and whip up 25-foot waves along Lake Michigan before moving on. AP / M. Spencer Green

Pedestrians make their way across the Madison St. bridge, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, in Chicago as a blizzard moves into Illinois. AP / M. Spencer Green

A man braces himself during a blizzard Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 in Chicago. Forecasts call for snow accumulation between one and two feet.. AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Pedestrians navigate through the Loop during a snowstorm February 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is under a blizzard warning for today and Wednesday as forecaster predict up to 20 inches of snow will fall on the city coupled with wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Getty Images / Scott Olson

High winds swirl the snow on an elevated train platform as Larry Roa waits for a train during a blizzard Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 in Chicago. AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Traffic makes its way through blizzard conditions on the Ohio Turnpike in Toledo. Tuesday Feb. 1, 2011. Detroit News / Madalyn Ruggiero

Ed Meinzen clears last night's snowfall from his driveway off of the 3800 block of Illinois Road in Columbia City, Ind., Tuesday morning, Feb. 1, 2011. The Journal-Gazette / Swikar Patel

Wind blows the snow back onto Bonnie Cass as she plows the sidewalks in front of her home in Whitefish Bay, Wis., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel / Kristyna Wentz-Graff

A vehicle is overturned along Interstate 680 in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. AP / Nati Harnik

University of Kansas freshman Andrew Forbes, right, shelters freshman Kristina Genton from blowing snow while walking down Jayhawk Blvd. in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. AP / Orlin Wagner

Traffic on U.S. Highway 12/ 14 in Madison, Wis. moves at a crawl as drivers navigate accumulating snows and high winds Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. Wisconsin State Journal / John Hart

A bicyclist makes her way Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee, Wis. A powerful and dangerous blizzard has immobilized much of southern Wisconsin. AP / Jeffrey Phelps

A person tries to hitch a ride on a snowy road Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. The area was under a blizzard warning and some freeways were shut down. AP / Jeffrey Phelps

Cars are buried as a woman tries to clear her windshield Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. AP / Jeffrey Phelps

People enjoy high waves from Lake Michigan, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee, Wis. AP / Jeffrey Phelps

A local resident clears snow from his driveway after an overnight snowfall, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Urbandale, Iowa. AP / Charlie Neibergall

People begin to dig out from heavy snow the downtown area near the University of Iowa as a major winter storm moves through the Midwest February 2, 2011 in Iowa City, Iowa. Almost 20 inches of snow fell in parts of the Midwest as the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for southeastern Iowa and much of Illinois. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

A bicyclist braces himself against the snow and wind on a pedestrian bridge over the frozen Iowa River February 1, 2011 in Iowa City, Iowa. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

A group of men work to dig a path for their car to drive through a heavy snowfall late night February 1, 2011 in Iowa City, United States. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

A pedestrian walks to a grocery store during a snow storm February 1, 2011 in Iowa City, United States. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

A bus driver attempts to knock the ice off of his windshield wipers in the snow and bone-chilling wind February 1, 2011 in Iowa City, United States. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

University of Iowa students take shelter in a bus hut from the snow and bone-chilling wind February 1, 2011 in Iowa City, United States. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

A car landed vertically in a snowbank after a multiple vehicle accident on Interstate 93 during a snow storm north of Salem, N.H. No one was injured. The Eagle-Tribune / Tim Jean

A a group of people stop along Interstate 91 to help push a car out of a snow bank during a winter storm in Windsor, Conn., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. AP / Jessica Hill

A dog named Muldoon waits in the snow for its owner, Tess Taylor, who stopped for coffee on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 in Barre, Vt. Schools, business and municipal offices are closed across Northern New England as the storm-weary region braces for what forecasters say could be more than a foot of snow in some places. AP / Toby Talbot

Rebecca Valk walks to her office in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in near whiteout conditions Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. A monster storm began to bear down on the middle of the nation Tuesday, threatening to leave up to a third of the nation covered in brutal winter weather. (AP Photo/ Poughkeepsie Journal, Spencer Ainsley) MANDATORY CREDIT Poughkeepsie Journal / Spencer Ainsley

Ice and freezing rain covers the parking lot at the Metro-North communter train station in Ossining, N.Y. Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. AP / Craig Ruttle

Dallas Fire and Rescue workers try to contain Diesel fuel that leaked from a jackknifed 18-wheeler Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35E. Traffic was stopped in both directions after several 18-wheelers either jackknifed of came to a total stop on ice covered interstate near Pleasant Run Road. The Dallas Morning News / Jim Mahoney

U.S. Army Capt. Fred Hale with the Idaho National Guard 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion waits on hold while trying to rebook a flight home to Idaho after an overnight ice storm forced the closure of DFW International Airport on February 1, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. Getty Images / Tom Pennington

Frost forms on a window during the winter weather in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. AP / David Duprey

This satellite image provided by NOAA and taken Tuesday Feb. 1, 2011 at 10:45 EST shows a huge swath of the United States affected by a winter storm that has already brought layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow, closing roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island. The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach threatened to leave about a third of the nation covered in a hodge-podge of harsh weather. Ice fell first and was expected to be followed by up to two feet of snow in some places. AP / NOAA

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