Blizzard or winter storm warnings for 16 states

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Wintry storms dumped a foot of snow on parts of the central US on Thursday, causing treacherous blizzard conditions during one of the busiest travel periods of the year and cutting power to 400,000 homes and businesses.

Up to 4 inches of snow is forecast for Chicago’s O’Hare airport, the nation’s second busiest airport, where more than 150 flights were canceled Thursday morning. There’s also the possibility of a heavy snow shower there Thursday evening, said Weather Channel forecaster Brian Fortier.

Blizzard or winter storm warnings have been issued for 16 states, Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel told TODAY.

A foot of snow fell on Des Moines, Iowa, by early Thursday and residents across the state were urged to stay off the roads.

“This cold weather will stick around for several days, maybe until the day after Christmas,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Dergan. “So we’re definitely going to have a white Christmas.”

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