WATCH: Storm buries Midwest in over a foot of snow, Illinois issues disaster proclamation

Midwest

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A winter storm blanketed the Midwest with up to a foot and a half of snow as officials urged residents to stay off the roads as wind chills and snow continued into Tuesday afternoon.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation for the state Tuesday as the National Weather Service reported that 18 inches of snow had fallen in the Chicago-area by 8 a.m. Tuesday. The declaration means Illinois can tap additional state help and seek federal assistance. 

“I have directed my administration to use all resources at our disposal to keep our communities safe amid dangerous and ongoing winter weather,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We are also working with our federal partners to pursue federal assistance to help communities recover and to do what we can to protect ratepayers from soaring utility bills.”

Illinois State Police and the state Department of Transportation to encourage people to stay at home Tuesday while crews clear roadways.

In Indiana, Indianapolis police and public safety officials issued a travel advisory for the metropolitan area, urging residents to travel only if absolutely necessary through Wednesday morning to allow snowplows to clear snow.

In parts of central Indiana the storm left more than 11 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon, according to NewsNation affiliate WXIN.

Iowa continued to see thousands of people vaccinated this week, despite a weather system that has pushed freezing air and snow into the state in recent days.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a reading of minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday shattered a record set in 1978 of minus 18F.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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