Photos: Thousands of flights canceled as major winter storm hits the middle US

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A major winter storm with millions of Americans in its path brought a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow to the nation’s midsection Wednesday as airlines canceled thousands of flights, officials urged residents to stay off roads, and schools closed campuses.

The blast of frigid weather, which began arriving Tuesday night, put a long stretch of states from New Mexico and Colorado to Maine under winter storm warnings and watches. On Wednesday morning, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan saw freezing rain, sleet and snow.

More than a foot of snow was expected in parts of central Missouri and Michigan, and up to a foot of snow could fall Wednesday and Thursday in central and northeastern Illinois. Twelve to 18 inches of snow is possible in areas of northern Indiana, said Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Md.

A pedestrian walks past a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. and Father Theodore Hesburgh on South Main Street in South Bend, Ind., on Wednesday.

(Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune)

A person walks between cars as he navigates windy, falling snow and slushy street conditions

Windy, falling snow and slushy street conditions make travel challenging in Chicago on Wednesday.

(Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

People walk down a snow-covered sidewalk

People walk down a snow-covered sidewalk on Wednesday in Chicago.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A street scene is obscured by heavy snow

Motorists navigate Roosevelt Road as commuters wait for a train at the Roosevelt elevated train station during a winter storm in Chicago.

(Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

Cross country skiers navigate fresh snowfall

Cross-country skiers on fresh powder at North Boulder Park in Boulder, Colo., on Wednesday.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

A baby is moved through snow in a plastic container

Baby Olia is taken on a tour of her snow-covered neighborhood by her nanny on Feb. 2 in Chicago.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A resident digs out his car from heavy snow

A resident digs out his car on Wednesday after heavy snowfall in Chicago.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A car is buried under several inches of snow

A car is buried under several inches of snow at the Margaret B. Upton Arboretum in St. Joseph, Mich., on Wednesday.

(Don Campbell/Herald-Palladium)

People jog under a bridge during a snowstorm

People jog along Northside Boulevard under the Twyckenham Drive bridge during a snowstorm on Wednesday in South Bend, Ind.

(Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune)





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