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posted: 12/27/2012 7:50 AM

Blizzard hits southern Illinois

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Associated Press

CARBONDALE -- A winter storm has slammed into southern Illinois, leaving roads covered in snow and ice and prompting officials to urge residents to stay home if they can.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Spaeth says 8 to 10 inches of snow is on the ground from Carbondale over to Marion.

WSIU Radio reports that the storm forced the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Ky., to issue its first ever blizzard warning for the region.

Southern Illinois is also being buffeted by strong wings with gusts of 35 to 40 mph. Authorities say the storm could lead to white-out conditions and may reduce visibility on southern Illinois roads to under a quarter mile at times.

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