At least four people have died and scores were injured and stranded as a snowstorm pounded St. Louis and other parts of Missouri, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.
With a winter storm brewing, the University of IL urged students to wait until Sunday to return to campus if they couldn't get back to Champaign-Urbana by Friday evening.
Roads and highways are backed up across the midwest as Winter Storm Gia has made her presence known.
Trooper John Korando says one crash killed a 73-year-old man on Friday, but it's not yet known whether weather was a factor. Another woman died when her vehicle slid on US 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV. The patrol said another crash involving two semitrailers in snowy conditions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico.
A major winter storm is wreaking havoc on millions of Americans this weekend as it carves its way across the Midwest toward the Atlantic.
The storm hit Kansas and Missouri on Friday and pummeled those states again on Saturday as it extended into parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and OH, said U.S. Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison.
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Washington, where many federal government offices are closed due to the US government shutdown, is expected to receive 15 cm to 20 cm of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Metro areas that are included in warnings are Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Roanoke and Greensboro - these areas are most likely to see unsafe travel conditions and heavy snow and/or ice according to The Weather Channel.
Washington and Baltimore will likely see 2 to 4 inches of snow and Philadelphia 1 to 2 inches. "St. Louis is seeing its worse snowstorm in five years".
If the city gets as much as a foot of snow by late Saturday, it would be the most snow a single storm has dumped on St. Louis since 2014, when a January blizzard left 10.8 inches, the National Weather Service said.
At least five people died in weather-related crashes on roads in Missouri and Kansas, according to the highway patrolmen in both states.
At St. Louis Lambert International Airport, "a winter storm has forced dozens of cancellations across all airlines at STL".