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Snow, Extreme Cold Plague Much of US

Paul Linquist braves subzero temperatures to shovel snow from the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul in preparation for the start of the 2015 legislative session, Jan. 6, 2015.

Snow and frigid temperatures have stopped or complicated travel plans in much of the United States.

Residents in the nation’s capital, Washington, awoke Tuesday to more than 12 centimeters of snow. The snow caused U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to cancel his trip north to attend former New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s funeral.

In Illinois, wind chills as low as minus 30 were forecast to move in behind a storm that dropped as much as 6 inches of snow on parts of the state.

More than 130 flights in and out of Chicago's two airports were canceled. Also, commuter railroad officials in the city decided Tuesday evening to keep railroad engines fired-up overnight and staff on hand to oversee key switches because of the super cold temperatures forecast for Wednesday.

Brutal cold and dangerous wind chills prompted dozens of districts in Illinois, including Chicago Public Schools, to pre-emptively cancel Wednesday classes.

School delays and traffic accidents also plagued part of Indiana, and traffic crashes in Michigan killed at least five people.

Snow was continuing in parts of northeast Ohio along Lake Erie, where as much as 20 inches could drop by Wednesday night.

Temperatures in much of the East and Midwest are expected to be even colder over the next two days.

Some information for this report came from AP.