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Winter storm leaves slick roads in Midwest as it pushes east

Dangerous blizzard sweeps across the nation

A winter storm inched its way toward New England Saturday after leaving slick roads and runways in the Midwest. 

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for the weekend from the Dakotas across the Great Lakes states and into New England. It warned that conditions in the Northeast "could approach blizzard criteria." 

Ice was also a possibility in some areas in the path of the storm, which was forecast to dump up to 2 feet of snow. 

In Nebraska, where freezing drizzle was falling Friday afternoon, authorities closed Omaha's Eppley Airfield after a Southwest Airlines plane slid off an ice-slicked runway. In Iowa, the Department of Transportation warned that visibility was less than a half mile in many locations due to snow and wind. 

And in South Dakota, where snow was starting to pile up, authorities warned drivers to give plows extra room.

The storm was expected to bring between up to 10 inches of snow to the Midwest before walloping the Northeast on Sunday. The National Weather Service in Albany, New York, said snow could fall at a rate of 1 to 3 inches an hour, creating "difficult to impossible travel conditions" in areas.

In New York City, the worst of the storm is expected from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, with snow accumulations of 3-6 inches followed by rain that could turn to ice as temperatures drop later Sunday. Single-digit temperatures could last into Monday. 

On Friday, New Jersey and Pennsylvania declared states of emergency.

"This storm has the potential to deliver every, every winter weather option that mother nature has," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe said at a news conference. 

In New Jersey, the state of emergency will go into effect at noon. "Our top priority is the safety of New Jerseyans, and we urge residents to stay off the roads and prepare for potential power outages," said Gov. Phil Murphy. 

Officials warned of flight disruptions at airports, as well as possible changes in train schedules. The Chicago Department of Aviation reported more than 300 flights at O'Hare and Midway international airports had been canceled as of Friday evening. Amtrak canceled some trains Saturday from Chicago to Washington and New York and between New York and Boston and Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Chicago is forecast to receive as much as 8 inches by Saturday and wind gusts in the Chicago area are expected to reach 35 mph.