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Winter storm could cause chaos for commuters from Illinois to Maine

In Iowa, a car barreled into an SUV, then hit a sheriff's deputy. “Slow down for all first responders and be safe!” the sheriff's office posted.
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A winter storm sweeping across the Midwest took aim at the East Coast overnight, bringing rain, ice and potentially as much as two feet of snow to some areas.

The snowy blast could cause havoc for commuters from Illinois to Maine, where winter storm warnings and advisories were in effect through Tuesday morning and into Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Highway pileups and other weather-related accidents had been reported in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, while inbound flights to Chicago's O’Hare International Airport were delayed by more than four hours as of Monday night, according to the flight tracking site Flightaware.

In New Jersey, where forecasters were predicting a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, Gov. Phil Murphy imposed a state of emergency from midnight Monday.The declaration authorizes the state to restrict travel and provide access to government assistance, among other things.

In Dallas County, Iowa, the sheriff urged drivers to slow down after a deputy at the scene of an accident was struck by a car zooming past emergency vehicles on a snow-covered road.

Dash-cam video of the incident showed a deputy leaping off the road before a car barrels into an SUV, and then hits the officer.

“He has some apparent minor injuries, but as you can tell from this video, it could have been a whole lot worse,” the sheriff’s office said in a post accompanying the video. “Slow down for all first responders and be safe!”

A video from outside Eau Claire, Wisconsin, showed cars, trucks and SUVs spun out on a snowy highway median. In neighboring Wayne County, Indiana, a twin-engine airplane skidded off the runway at an airport east of Indianapolis on Monday morning.

The airport near-miss in Indiana.Laure Ravinet-Walls

No injuries were reported in the incident, according to NBC affiliate WTHR.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that some upstate areas could see ice, 35 mph winds, freezing rain and as much as two feet of snow on Tuesday.

One to four inches were forecast for New York City, the governor’s office said in a statement. The state's Department of Transportation was ready with more than 1,500 plows and hundreds of trucks, snow blowers, tractor trailers and graders, the statement said.

The Pacific Northwest, meanwhile, was preparing for more winter weather and rain after an unusual storm dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas last week.

“We are not done with this #wasnow for the forseeable future,” Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday in a post on Twitter. “Caution is the best approach for everyone. Thank you for sharing your shovels to keep sidewalks clear, for helping your elderly neighbors and for reducing your traffic to get us safely through the next couple days.”