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Heavy snow snarls travel, closes schools in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A late winter storm blowing through Ohio dumped 6 inches of snow or more on parts of the state early Wednesday, creating treacherous driving conditions for the morning rush hour and closing hundreds of schools.

Most of Ohio was under winter storm warnings or advisories through Wednesday morning, but forecasters said the worst was over by dawn. Southern and central Ohio got the brunt of the major storm, which had swept down from Minnesota and Wisconsin and barreled through the Midwest on its way to Washington.

Officials in central Ohio advised people to stay home if possible. Authorities were responding to scores of accidents on Columbus and Cincinnati interstate highways, some caused by tractor-trailer trucks that jack-knifed on roadways blanketed by the dense, wet snow.

Power outages in some areas darkened traffic lights, slowing morning commuters even more.

Airlines canceled dozens of flights at the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus airports late Tuesday and Wednesday, many of them to or from Chicago and other Midwest cities hit by the storm. Hundreds of flights have been canceled nationwide.

The fluffy, wet snow will soon turn into slushy muck, though, as forecasters are predicting rising temperatures later in the week. Most of the snow should be gone by the weekend in much of the state.

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