A winter storm pounding America's Midwest has caused at least two deaths, closed schools and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
Snow-related crashes snarled highways across southern Michigan, with one person killed when a semitrailer struck the rear of a car stopped in traffic.
A Michigan State Police trooper was hospitalised after a pickup truck lost control and slammed into his stationary squad car on Interstate 94 northeast of Detroit.
A pileup on the same highway just east of Kalamazoo in southwestern Michigan collected 38 vehicles including 16 semitrailers in eastbound lanes yesterday, causing only minor injuries.
In Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago, a man in his 60s died after suffering a heart attack while shovelling snow.
Chicago was forecast to receive as much as 36cm of snow and Detroit was expecting up to 23cm.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city was gearing up for three more rounds of snow through the weekend.
"The good news is we're tried and tested here," he said. "We're up to it."
Three northern Indiana counties posted travel watches recommending only essential travel.
A plane slid off the runway while preparing for takeoff at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. None of the 149 passengers were injured.
Across the US some hundreds of flights were grounded and wind chill temperatures were expected to drop below -18C in many areas across the mid-west.
More than 1000 flights were cancelled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, more than 300 were cancelled at Midway and more than 260 flights were cancelled at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan.
Thousands of children got a rare snow day off school after districts in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee cancelled classes. Schools across Nebraska and Iowa also closed or delayed the start of classes.
The Indiana Department of Transportation resorted to sending teams of as many as four ploughs simultaneously to clear some highways. Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully said 300 salt-spreading ploughs would continue their work through the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower was closed yesterday as snow and freezing rain hammered France.
Parisian workers with hand shovels were carefully clearing snow from the 19th-century landmark's intricate ironwork and de-icing stairs and platforms.
French authorities also told drivers in the Paris region to stay home to the inclement weather.
Heavy snowfall earlier this week trapped hundreds of drivers in cars and caused the worst-ever traffic jams in the area surrounding the French capital.
Officials had warned of dangerous conditions in about a quarter of the country following forecasts of more snow.
- AP, Reuters