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Winter storm hits Midwest, feds close Wash. offices

6:49 AM, Mar 6, 2013   |    comments
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CHICAGO -- One Chicago woman says she "thought it was just media hype."

But the storm that's brought a blast of wet snow to the city appears to be living up to the advance warnings. It's expected to dump more snow than Chicago has seen since the 2011 blizzard.

It's barreling through Illinois on its way toward the nation's capital, where it is expected to arrive by Wednesday morning.

In western Wisconsin Tuesday morning, a semi-trailer slid off a snow-covered interstate and into a river, killing one person. Authorities have been searching for a second person believed to have been a passenger.

Airlines canceled more than 1,100 flights at Chicago airports. And airlines along the storm's projected path are also cutting flights -- including hundreds at Dulles and Reagan National airports in the Washington area.

In Chicago, officials have been working to keep Lake Shore Drive safe. A blizzard in February of 2011 shut down the lakefront highway at rush hour, stranding hundreds of cars and buses and trapping passengers overnight.

Federal government closes DC offices as snow nears 

The federal government says its offices in the Washington, D.C., area will be closed Wednesday as the nation's gets its first big snowfall of the winter.

The Office of Personnel Management says non-emergency employees of the federal government will be granted excused absences Wednesday.

Forecasters were predicting as much as 10 inches of snow for Washington, with more predicted for the suburbs north and west of the district.

Airlines along the storm's projected path have cut hundreds of flights, most of them at Dulles and Reagan National airports in the Washington area.

(Associated Press)

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