Severe weather from Chicago to Boston as monster storm arrives
Severe weather, in the form of snow, is headed for St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, and Milwaukee. A monster storm could dump up to two-feet of snow and drifts piled up to 10 feet.
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Forty-three winter storms have produced 10 inches or more in Chicago since record-keeping began in 1886.Skip to next paragraph
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Paula Lawson, a 59-year-old community organizer from suburban Glencoe, said she remembered the big storm in 1967, which "really did stop the world for days."
Will the latest storm do the same?
"If we get 20 inches, maybe," Lawson said at a downtown rail station. "But around here, 12 inches, it doesn't stop us."
Even when the snow stops falling, the temperature will keep dropping.
In Arkansas, most communities expected lesser amounts of snow, but the weather service warned of severe thunderstorms that could generate freezing rain, hail and isolated tornadoes.
On Monday, freezing drizzle coated roadways across the Plains. Two school buses in the Kansas City, Mo., area slid off icy roads. No one was seriously hurt.
A Wisconsin state trooper was struck and seriously hurt while directing traffic around another accident. In Minnesota, the state patrol reported hundreds of crashes statewide, including one that was fatal.
Elsewhere, dozens of day care centers and school districts in Kansas and Missouri canceled classes Monday. Illinois lawmakers postponed a planned legislative session until next week and the 2011 Pork Expo in Peoria, Ill., was rescheduled for the middle of February.
Even Missouri's Department of Transportation — the agency responsible for keeping the state's highways clear of snow — decided to cancel a commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday in the state capital of Jefferson City.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute sought immediate blood donations, saying while its current supply is adequate, it could run low if the storm results in a significant slowdown in donations.
St. Louis-based utility company Ameren opened its emergency operations center amid worries that the weight of the ice and snow could bring down trees and power lines.
After burying the Midwest, the storm was expected to sweep Wednesday into the Northeast, parts of which already are on track for record snowfall this winter.
In New Hampshire, where pedestrians have been forced to walk in the street in places because of piled-up snow, crews rushed to remove it before a new foot or so fell on the state.
Associated Press writers Jim Salter in St. Louis; Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Mo.; Murray Evans in Oklahoma City; Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee, Wis.; Corey Williams in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and Barbara Rodriguez in Chicago contributed to this report.tr