Nearly 1,000 flights were canceled at Chicago airports Tuesday as the city braces for what forecasters say could be as much as 11 inches of snow.
More than 770 flights have been canceled at O'Hare International Airport and 215 at Midway Airport, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Dozens of schools are closed or are planned to close in advance of a National Weather Service prediction that an inch of snow or more could fall each hour this afternoon and evening.
The 182 snowplows were activated to salt and clear the Illinois Tollway. Because of a relatively dry winter, the city streets and sanitation department still has most of its 285,000 tons of salt on hand, said department spokeswoman Anne Sheahan.
Light snow began to fall in the area before dawn as the storm moved eastward from North Dakota. Heavier snow began at the end of the morning rush-hour.
In Minneapolis, the storm was expected to dump as much as a foot of snow with at least 7 inches already on the ground in the metro area by early Tuesday morning, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The storm system was expected to reach Washington by Wednesday bringing either rain or snow to the mid-Atlantic area before moving offshore, CNN reported.
The Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va., prepared to deploy some 4,000 trucks and snow plows to handle the job of clearing streets.
The storm will bring heavy snow from parts of North Carolina to portions of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Accuweather.com reported.
Forecasters warned the weight of the snow could bring down trees and power lines.
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