A major winter storm has caused disruption across Midwest America – with a warning of a “historic” snowfall on the way.
The National Weather Service said at least 4ins (10cm) of snow was expected across most of an area stretching from central Kansas northeast towards Chicago and southern Michigan.
Parts of southeast Nebraska and western Iowa could get more than three times that much – up to a foot in just hours.
Meteorologist Taylor Nicolaisen said it had been over 15 years since more than a foot of snow had fallen in a single storm.
“This is historic snow,” he said.
A map tweeted by Iowa’s Department of Transport showed almost the entire state “covered” or “partially covered” with snow.
(1-26 5:45 am) The area of “travel not advised” has been expanded this morning as snow continues to fall in Iowa. For your safety and the safety of our crews, please do not travel if you don’t absolutely need to be out. Get updates on the 511 app or https://t.co/2XHJbG5B9b. pic.twitter.com/FtW4Ci9a7a
— Iowa DOT (@iowadot) January 26, 2021
Around 300 salt spreaders are on the streets of Chicago and almost 200 flights have been cancelled at both the city’s main airports.
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Several coronavirus testing sites in Nebraska and Iowa were forced to close because of the snow.
Many schools and businesses closed on Monday as the storm moved across the region.
Police urged drivers to stay off the roads during the storm, especially during the heaviest snowfall.
Nebraska State Patrol troopers alone responded to more than 200 weather-related incidents on Monday, as more than 10ins (25cm) of snow fell in parts of the state.
A winter weather advisory was issued for north-west Indiana, where the weather service forecast up to 5ins of snow by the time the storm leaves the area.
Until now, the region had enjoyed a relatively mild winter.