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DeKalb expected to receive winter's heaviest snowfall

DeKALB – If Dan Turner’s wish came true, he would be just finishing up a round of snow plowing this morning.

Turner, owner of Kelly & Dan’s Lawn Care and Snow Removal in DeKalb, was preparing his equipment and crew Thursday for the up to 5 inches of snow he was expecting to fall overnight. After a relatively mild winter, Turner said he would not mind late-night work.

“I’m pretty well set, but it’s sure nice to have that little extra income,” Turner said. “If it snows, I got work. If it doesn’t, I don’t, but I’m not out anything.”

Chances are Turner found some work late Thursday and today as a severe snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow in some Midwestern states tapered off as it entered Illinois. Kansas was the storm epicenter, with parts covered in 14 inches of powdery snow, but winter storm warnings stretched from eastern Colorado through Illinois.

The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City put out an urgent call for blood after the storm forced the organization to close its six donation centers and halt blood drives.

The University of Missouri canceled classes for one of the few times in its 174-year history.

Northern Illinois University meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste expected about 5 inches of snow by early today, potentially the highest snowfall of the winter. DeKalb received 4.2 inches of snow Feb. 7.

“This will not be the blizzard of 2011,” Sebenste said. “But it will create some slippery and icy conditions.”

DeKalb area residents also can expect freezing rain throughout the day and a light snow between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. today, Sebenste said. The next storm is expected Monday or Tuesday, but it is too early to tell if it will be freezing rain or snow.

T.J. Moore, director of public works for DeKalb, said city staff was relieved forecasts changed from a foot of snow to the 3- to 5-inch range. The expected freezing rain at the end of the storm could freeze over storm inlets and cause flooding, he said.

“We’re trying to be prepared as we can be to handle all the slushing we expect,” Moore said. “We’re ready for all eventualities.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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