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Winter storm brings heavy snow, ice to Midwest, Northeast

Last Updated Jan 18, 2020 at 7:29 am PST

Heavy traffic is seen on Interstate 190 near O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. FAA orders ground-stop at O'Hare as winter storm hits Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

millions along the East Coast and the Midwest are preparing for a blast of winter weather

Hundreds of people living in mountain communities east of Seattle were stranded this week because of the snow

CHICAGO — A winter storm that has already caused trouble at airports in Chicago and Kansas City was expected to bring blizzard conditions to the Plains and Midwest on Saturday and could dump up to a foot of snow in parts of the Northeast on Sunday.

National Weather Service forecasters issued winter weather advisories affecting much of the Midwest and into the Northeast, including heavy snow that could make travel difficult in some areas.

Forecasters also warned of blizzard conditions expected Saturday afternoon in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, including wind gusts topping 50 mph (80 kph).

For southern New England, it would be the first significant snowfall of the year, with up to half a foot (15 centimetres) expected in many areas of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Parts of New York state could get up to a foot (30 centimetres) of snow.

On Friday night, the Federal Aviation Administration halted all flights in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for several hours, and a plane slid off an icy taxiway at Kansas City International Airport. The Chicago Department of Aviation reported about 200 cancellations at O’Hare on Saturday morning out of nearly 2,000 total flights, and the FAA said some flights were being delayed by weather conditions.

In South Dakota and Minnesota, dozens of schools cancelled classes Friday. In Kansas, state offices in the Topeka area shut down.