Snow piles up in midwest storm, traffic snarled

The snow is here and we can expect anywhere from 4''-7'', 5''-9'', or even up to 10'' of snow in Ingham County.

The snow from a winter storm moving across the Great Lakes is leaving roads treacherous, closing schools and cancelling hundreds of flights across the upper Midwest.

It's also snarling traffic and closing some freeways.

The National Weather Service says Friday morning it's received reports of between 9 and 11 inches of snow over a 24-hour period in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Eight inches was reported in parts of northern Illinois and up to about 6 inches was reported the Chicago area.

Totals could be about a foot by day's end.

Portions of northern Indiana were hit hard, with 8 inches reported in New Carlisle.

Snow across southern and central Michigan ranged from 7 inches on the western side of the state to more than 2 inches so far in the Detroit area.

Crashes were reported, including a multi-vehicle smashup that closed a stretch of eastbound Interstate 94 near Ann Arbor.

The storm is expected to drop about a foot of snow or more in some areas by the time it moves eastward out of the region Friday night. Some of the highest totals are forecast in the Chicago area, northern Indiana and southern Michigan.

American, United and Southwest airlines warned travelers to expect more flight cancellations to and from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. By early Friday, more than 100 flights were canceled at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan.

Ingham Co. is saying that 4-7" is a pretty good bet for northern parts of the county with heavier amounts in the southern half, which could see 5-9", maybe even 10 plus inches.

Officials are saying it won't be windy, and the snow will be heavy, but the wind directions can change continuously so expect some drifting to be an issue. Forecasters say travel will be "very difficult to impossible" at times.

In Kalamazoo and Jackson counties, accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are forecast. In southeastern Michigan, a winter storm watch is in effect through Friday night with 5 to 9 inches forecast in Detroit and its suburbs. Lower accumulations are expected to the north.

Police are encouraging residents to prepare for the storm, and they have some advice:
- Stay indoors (if you have to go outside wear appropriate winter gear)
- Avoid overexertion if you're outside
- Watch for signs of frostbite
- Watch for signs of hypothermia
- Beware of wind chill
- Remove clothing if it gets wet
- Weatherproof your home
- Check heating units
- Check on family / friends / neighbors who might be in need
- Do not travel unless necessary (keep a full tank of gas, warm clothing, and an emergency kit in your vehicle )

The AAA has tips for winter driving:
- Remove ice & snow from entire vehicle
- Drive the speed that's appropriate for the conditions, even if it's below the speed limit
- Increase following distances
- Do not use cruise control
- Be familiar with your braking system
- Stay 200 feet back from maintenance vehicles and plows
- If stuck in snow or ice, straighten the wheel and accelerate slowly ( you might want to add sand or cat litter under the wheels to avoid spinning the tires )
- If you lose traction steer in the direction you want to go

They also suggest that you have; a charged cell phone, a full tank of gas, to check washer fluid and anti-freeze, inspect tires, have snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight, and warm clothing and blankets.