DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With a month to go before the official start of spring, people living in the Midwest were braced Friday for the same kind of hard-hitting, jarring blizzard that struck states from Kansas to Illinois, dumping up to 17 inches of snows and causing accidents, flight interruptions and hazardous driving.

Wind gusts of 30 mph were expected to churn-up snow that fell overnight in southern Wisconsin, where forecasters warned Milwaukee-area residents of slick roads and reduced visibility. The same was expected in northeast Iowa, where residents could wake up to as much as 7 inches of new snow, while nearly 200 snowplows were deployed overnight in Chicago.

The storm system swirled to the north and east late Thursday, carrying with it snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Northern Oklahoma saw more than 13 inches, while Missouri's biggest snow total was 10 inches, shared by the Kansas City metropolitan area. But in Kansas, 17 inches of snow fell in Hays and nearly the same amounts in a handful of other cities. Farther east in Topeka, 3 inches of snow fell in only 30 minutes, leaving medical center worker Jennifer Carlock to dread the drive home.

"It came on fast," Carlock said as she shoveled around her car late Thursday. "We're going to test out traction control on the way home."

Numerous accidents and two deaths were being blamed on the icy, slushy roadways.

State legislatures shut down in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Most schools were closed in Kansas and Missouri, and many in neighboring states.

That included the University of Missouri, where classes were canceled for one of the few times in its 174-year history.

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062-a-08-(truck stop clerk (she didn't want her name used), in AP interview)-"streets, parking lots"-This woman who works as a clerk at a truck stop in Kansas City, Missouri says the snow has made driving nearly impossible. (22 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *062 (02/22/13)>> 00:08 "streets, parking lots"

066-a-11-(Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas National Guard adjutant general, at news briefing)-"difficulty keeping up"-Kansas National Guard Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli says the guard has 12 teams patrolling highways in Humvees. COURTESY: WIBW TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (22 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *066 (02/22/13)>> 00:11 "difficulty keeping up"

064-a-05-(unidentified traveler, at Eppley Airfield, in interview)-"things are good"-This traveler says even though the snow canceled flights, he really doesn't have any complaints. COURTESY: KMTV TV ((mandatory on-air credit) (22 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *064 (02/22/13)>> 00:05 "things are good"

090-a-12-(Steve Swartz, spokesman, Kansas Department of Transportation, in AP interview)-"that were stalled"-Steve Swartz, spokesman, Kansas Department of Transportation, says people should still stay off the state's roadways if they can. ((note "today" in cut refers to Thursday)) (22 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *090 (02/22/13)>> 00:12 "that were stalled"

APPHOTO MOKAS102: Northbound I-29 in Kansas City, Mo. is littered with stranded vehicles Thursday Feb. 21, 2013, after the Kansas City area was pounded with rapidly accumulating snow. Powdery snow bombarded much of the nation's midsection Thursday, leaving as much as 17 inches in some places, shutting down airports, schools and state legislatures. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Keith Myers) (21 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOKAS102 (02/21/13)>>

APPHOTO MOKAS101: The driver, right, of a stranded fruit truck tried for over an hour to free his vehicle, after spinning out Thursday morning Feb. 21, 2013 In Kansas City, Mo. Powdery snow bombarded much of the nation's midsection Thursday, leaving as much as 17 inches in some places, shutting down airports, schools and state legislatures. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star,Rich Sugg ) (21 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO MOKAS101 (02/21/13)>>

APPHOTO ILCHN102: UI students Dana Roesslein and Carly Vandetta cross Windsor Road at Galen in a car's headlights as the storm move in, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann) MANDATORY CREDIT (21 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO ILCHN102 (02/21/13)>>

APPHOTO IANH103: Trucker Ray Jersey of St. Louis exercises his dog Samson at a truck stop as snow falls in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Ray Jersey opted to wait the snow storm out as much of the nation's heartland is experiencing heavy snow, treacherous roads and a day off from work or school as a large, potentially dangerous winter storm pushed eastward out of the Rockies. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (21 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO IANH103 (02/21/13)>>