CHICAGO (AP) -- A major winter storm cut a broad swath across the Midwest on Friday, snarling traffic and cutting power to thousands of households. Schools across the Northeast closed in anticipation as the storm lumbered eastward.
Power companies reported 60,000 customers in Illinois without service. In Indiana, 120,000 outages were reported.
Snow and freezing rain were also a problem in Iowa. But authorities there said only scattered power outages were reported, because there wasn't much wind to bring ice-laden tree limbs down onto power lines.
In the Northeast, snowfall totals of up to 14 inches were forecast. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick asked nonessential state employees to stay home.
The storm had the potential to complicate efforts to restore power to New England homes and businesses still without power one week after an ice storm that toppled trees and utility lines.
Officials said about 10,000 customers in Massachusetts were still waiting for power to be restored, down from a peak of 350,000 in the immediate aftermath of the storm. A dozen emergency shelters remained in operation. In New Hampshire, about 33,000 homes and businesses were still in the dark.
On Wednesday and Thursday, wintry weather had made life miserable in parts of the West. A record December snowfall of 3.6 inches was recorded in Las Vegas, while in Spokane, Wash., nearly 2 feet of snow fell.