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UPDATE 3-Snow blankets Chicago as winter storm sweeps U.S. Midwest

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By Suzannah Gonzales

CHICAGO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A winter storm swept across the
northern U.S. Midwest on Friday, dumping up to nine inches (23
cm) of snow on Chicago and snarling hundreds of flights as it
rolled east to threaten New York state and New England.

Chicago's metropolitan area was blanketed with its heaviest
snowfall since at least late 2016 as the storm put an icy grip
on much of Wisconsin, northern Illinois and Michigan.

The snow caused dozens of crashes on icy Chicago expressways
as residents of the third-biggest U.S. city struggled to get to
work and to dig out from a storm system that had stretched from
Montana to Michigan.

“I hate you, Chicago!” Ieva Urbietyte, a 25-year-old
customer service representative, said she thought while cleaning
snow off her car in the Windy City. “Thankfully we don’t have to
do this all the time.”

Weather forecasters in Detroit warned that snowfall there
could surpass one inch (2.5 cm) an hour as the system headed
east.

At the Argus Farm Stop in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan,
several customers arrived on skis, and store manager Laura Barch
said she was eager to get into her snowshoes.

“I feel like this is going to be the one day out of the
year” to use them, said Barch. "This is the first real winter
we’ve had in several years.”

Wind chill temperatures were expected to drop below 0
Fahrenheit (-18 C) in many areas across the upper Midwest. The
central and northern Rockies also will see heavy snow, the
National Weather Service said.

City officials announced school closures in Chicago, Detroit
and Milwaukee because of the weather.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hurley said on
Friday that the system was likely to drop another four or five
inches (10 or 12.5 cm) of snow on the Midwest by the evening as
it headed east toward New England.

The storm could dump up to a foot (30 cm) of snow in New
York state as it picks up moisture off the Great Lakes, he
added.

About 1,500 U.S. flights were canceled, with about a third
of flights into or out of Chicago and Detroit airports called
off, according to FlightAware.com, which tracks airline traffic.

Winter weather this week killed people in accidents in the
Midwest, including six in Iowa, two in Missouri and one in
Montana, local media in those states reported.
(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington, Letitia
Stein in Ann Arbor, and Frank McGurty and Jonathan Allen in New
York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Cynthia Osterman)

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