Fierce wind blew snow across roads and stranded hundreds of drivers on Midwestern highways, as thousands shivered without power and airlines were forced to call off hundreds of flights.
At least 15 storm-related deaths have been reported since the snow began falling Wednesday, including a 10-year-old Wisconsin boy who died Friday in a car accident.
The storm left more than 1 foot (30 centimeters) of snow in some areas Friday. Even as the flakes stopped falling by afternoon, gusts of 40 mph (65 kph) prompted blizzard warnings and prevented major highways from reopening.
Officials at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport canceled 500 flights, blaming bad weather elsewhere, the AP says.
In the Northeast, a storm dumped snow across northern New England, while areas to the south were left with a messy mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Hundreds of miles of interstate highway in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota remained closed for much of Friday, with plow drivers forced to pull off roads because of the wind-blown snow.
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