CHICAGO — Steady snow caused problems on roadways Saturday. Illinois state police were urging people to stay home as troopers responded to hundreds of crashes and requests for assistance.
Along I-57 in Kankakee, cars were sliding off the highway and into ditches.
In Chicago, nearly 300 city trucks loaded up with salt.
Saturday's forecast called for heavy snow spreading from the south over much of northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana. The snow was expected to continue into the afternoon and overnight hours, ending from the west after midnight.
A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect for counties along and south of I-88 and I-290 until 3 a.m. Sunday.
Snowfall should accumulate from 2 to 4 inches across Lee, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and Cook Counties — increasing up to 7 or 8 inches well south of Interstate-80 into central Illinois.
Snowfall will cut off quickly farther north to an inch or less along the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Driving conditions will deteriorate rapidly once snow begins in any given location in the Advisory area.
Low pressure centered over Arkansas will move slowly east today and Sunday with a wide band of associated snow generally along and north of the Ohio River into the southern and central Appalachians. The Winter Storm Warnings for 8 to 15 inches of snow are depicted in pink, while Winter Weather Advisories calling for generally 3 to 7-inches of snow accumulation in purple.
Across the Midwest, thousands were without power Saturday due to a winter storm.
The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies on Friday, then east into Missouri and Illinois, covering roads and making driving dangerous. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says nearly 300 vehicles had slid off roads across the state and more than 175 crashes had been reported by late Saturday morning.
By late morning Saturday, officials had reported nearly 11 inches of snow at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, where most flights were canceled or delayed.
In central Missouri, officials said about 12,000 households and businesses were without power in Columbia and the surrounding area.
The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for Missouri, as well as Illinois and Indiana.