ST. LOUIS (February 22, 2013)--Snow blankets much of the nation's midsection Friday.
In some places as much as 17 inches fell, shutting down airports, schools and state legislatures.
The storm system swirled to the north and east Thursday night, its snow, sleet and freezing rain prompting winter storm warnings from Kansas to Illinois.
Forecasters said the storm will continue its crawl overnight, hitting the upper Midwest by Friday morning.
The system produced impressive snow accumulations, especially in Kansas, where a foot and half of snow fell in Hays.
Thirteen inches covered Wichita.
Numerous accidents and two deaths were linked to the icy, slushy roadways.
Most schools in Kansas and Missouri, and many in neighboring states, were closed Thursday and legislatures shut down in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
Northern Oklahoma received between 10 and 13½ inches of snow.
Missouri's biggest snow total was 10 inches, shared by the Kansas City metropolitan area, Rockport in the northwest corner and Moberly in the central part of the state.
The storm was expected to drop 3 to 9 inches of snow in Iowa overnight, while Nebraska will get another 2 to 5 inches.