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Super Bowl Snowday: Vast Swath of U.S. Braces for Storm

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Get ready for a snowy Super Bowl: another large winter storm is moving across a large swath of the U.S. on Sunday just days after a blizzard slammed the Northeast. The storm — which The Weather Channel is calling Linus — could dump up to a foot of snow as it moves from the Plains through the Midwest and into the Northeast.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for a stretch of the country ranging from Nebraska to Maine, including parts of Iowa, northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio as well as Pennsylvania, New York, and portions of southern New England, according to Weather.com. It said several large cities are in Linus' line of fire, with Des Moines, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Albany, Providence and Boston positioned to see between 8 inches to a foot of powder. School was canceled in Chicago and Boston, as well as many communities in Massachusetts.

Live updates on cancellations and travel-delays

Nearly 1,700 flights had been cancelled in and out of Chicago's airports by Sunday afternoon. Parts of Illinois had already racked up 9 inches of snow by Sunday afternoon, and the northeastern part of the state was under a blizzard warning. At least 15,000 people in northeast Chicago would have to try to get somewhere else to watch the Super Bowl, as the storm knocked out their power, according to utility company ComEd.

The most intense period of snow in the Midwest is forecast to hit Sunday right around game time — which means road conditions could be hazardous for people driving to Super Bowl parties. Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department Commissioner Charles Williams said during a Sunday news conference that 350 pieces of snow removal equipment had been deployed throughout the city. “Everyone here is on the job today so people can get to their job tomorrow,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.

A tanker carrying 44,000 pounds of toxic dimethylaminopropylamine overturned in snowy conditions on Interstate 57 in Champaign, Illinois, prompting the evacuation of 60 people in a nearby neighborhood, said Champaign Fire Department spokesman John Koller. The stretch of highway where the tanker overturned was not expected to reopen until Sunday night, at the earliest. The driver of the tanker was charged with driving too fast for conditions, according to Illinois State Police.

Potential wind gusts of up to 40 mph are expected in the Midwest, so drivers could face terrible visibility and snarling snow drifts, according to The Associated Press. Two people were killed in separate vehicle crashes on snow-covered roads in Nebraska on Sunday, NBC station WOWT reported.

Omaha had at least seven inches of snow by late Sunday. One local's car got stuck in a drift. "The snow plow just went by and kind of trapped me even more," Robert Frye told WOWT. "Now - haha - here I am, just trying to get out of here!"

Snow will continue throughout the day from southern Minnesota southward into northern Missouri and eastward into Pennsylvania and western New York. Nearly 1,500 plows were available in the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, urging “all New Yorkers to exercise caution when traveling.” The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey warned the weather “could have a major impact on Monday morning travel.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said ice would be the biggest threat. The city could expect snow, ice, freezing rain and wind gusts up to 35 mph during the storm watch that would last from 7 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday. De Blasio said commuters should be “very, very cautious,” although his warnings were more conservatively worded than a week earlier when officials were criticized after a storm, anticipated to bring two feet of snow, only dropped 6 inches.

Monday’s storm will be followed by plummeting temperatures, which will turn sidewalks and roads into ice rinks, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service said between 8 and 14 inches of snow could fall in parts of New England beginning around midnight Sunday, with up to 16 inches in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts and Connecticut's Litchfield Hills. Southwestern Connecticut could see between 5 and 10 inches of snow and sleet. The Weather Channel said that snow is likely for the Monday morning commute from north of Philadelphia up to Boston and could continue into Monday evening. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said non-essential state employees should delay coming to work Monday morning.

Amtrak said it was planning a normal Monday schedule, with some modifications to Acela Express and Northeast Regional service.

People in one Connecticut community flooded hardware stores that haven't had a chance to fully restock since last week’s storm. "I came for ice melt, and they had none. All sold out," Bob Wardwell of Bristol told NBC Connecticut.

But one customer left lucky: "Had to come get a shovel for the storm coming," said Kathleen Green of Bristol.

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Kyle Scott Contributed to this report.

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