Winter storm dumping snow across much of Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) - A storm is hitting a big chunk of Illinois and the snowfall totals have passed the 6-inch mark in several central Illinois communities are closing in on the one-foot mark in some areas.

The snow that started falling Friday evening in central Illinois forced the cancelations of events in several communities on Saturday, including a basketball tournament in Vermilion County. And the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield closed Saturday. The University of Illinois has notified students that if they haven't made it back to Champaign-Urbana already to wait until Sunday to do so.

By mid-morning, there were reports of automobile crashes across the region, with the Illinois State Police saying there were crashes and vehicles in ditches along Interstates 74, 57 and 72. Officials continue to urge people not to drive on the increasingly hazardous roads.

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