UPDATE: Big pileup blocks I-94 in southwestern Michigan

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CHICAGO (AP) — 2:10 p.m.

A section of Interstate 94 in southwestern Michigan was blocked after dozens of vehicles crashed amid heavy snowfall.

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

Several cars, SUVs and semitrailers slid into each other or into the ditch along the highway. No information on injuries was immediately available.

The National Weather Service says the Kalamazoo area has seen at least 6 inches of fresh snowfall since late Thursday as the region remained under a winter storm warning.

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10:40 a.m.

Chicago officials say about 6 to 7 inches of snow has fallen on the city and they're gearing up for three more waves through the weekend.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a Friday morning news conference that the city, its workers and residents are up to it. He says "we're tried and tested here." City officials say they're expecting another round of snow later Friday, one overnight and then a final round Saturday night into Sunday. Those could bring another 3 to 9 inches total.

More than 1,000 flights have been canceled at the city's O'Hare and Midway international airports. Delays at O'Hare are averaging 35 minutes and less than 15 minutes at Midway. Chicago Public Schools canceled classes Friday. CPS officials say they anticipate students being back in classrooms Monday.

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8:50 a.m.

Snow is piling up from a winter storm that's moving across the across the upper Midwest, snarling traffic and closing some freeways.

The National Weather Service says Friday morning it's received reports of between 9 and 11 inches (23 to 28 centimeters) of snow over a 24-hour period in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Eight inches was reported in parts of northern Illinois and up to about 6 inches was reported the Chicago area.

Totals could be about a foot by day's end.

Portions of northern Indiana were hit hard, with 8 inches reported in New Carlisle. Snow across southern and central Michigan ranged from 7 inches on the western side of the state to more than 2 inches so far in the Detroit area.

Crashes were reported, including a multi-vehicle smashup that closed a stretch of eastbound Interstate 94 near Ann Arbor.

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6:30 a.m.

Thousands of air travelers are being delayed by a winter snowstorm that's moving across the across the upper Midwest.

The Chicago Department of Aviation reports Friday morning that about 550 flights were canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and about 230 flights were canceled at Chicago's Midway Airport.

By early Friday, more than 100 flights were canceled at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan.

Airlines had warned travelers earlier in the week to expect flight cancelations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Some courts and government offices shut down, joining schools in the path of the storm that closed for the day in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Court closings were reported in Chicago and Detroit, and driver's license offices were shut in the Chicago area.

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4:50 a.m.

Snow from a winter storm moving across the Great Lakes is leaving roads treacherous, closing schools and cancelling hundreds of flights across the upper Midwest.

The storm is expected to drop about a foot (1/3 meter) of snow or more in some areas by the time it moves eastward out of the region Friday night. Some of the highest totals are forecast in the Chicago area, northern Indiana and southern Michigan.

Early Friday, the National Weather Service received reports of 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow in northern Illinois.

Slide-offs and crashes also were reported early Friday.

Meteorologist Heather Orow in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says the storm is "generally going to be an issue for travel." People should stay off the roads if possible and expect delays and hazardous conditions.

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12 a.m.

A winter storm moving across the Great Lakes that's forecast to drop about a foot of snow in some areas has closed schools and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

The National Weather Service issued winter-weather warnings and advisories across the upper Midwest. The snow that began falling late Thursday afternoon is expected to continue through Friday as the storm moves east.

American, United and Southwest airlines warned travelers to expect more flight cancellations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The expectation of up to 12 inches around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students on Friday.

Weather service meteorologist Trent Frey says the forecast is for up to nine inches of snow in Detroit through late Friday. Schools across Michigan also cancelled classes.



 
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