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ILLINOIS -- Blizzard hits southern part of state

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Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:47 am

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — A gusty winter storm has slammed into southern Illinois, forcing the closures of courthouses and leaving roads covered in snow and ice.

The National Weather Service says 4 inches to a foot of snow fell on the region as of Wednesday morning, with the heaviest amounts reported from Anna in Union County northeast to Harrisburg.

As much as 3 more inches were expected before the snow is slated to taper off midday Wednesday.

WSIU Radio reports that the storm forced the weather service to issue its first-ever blizzard warning for the region.

Authorities say the storm could lead to white-out conditions and may reduce visibility on southern Illinois roads to under a quarter mile at times.

Courthouses in Alexander, Franklin, Hamilton, Massac, Pope, Union and Williamson counties are closed.

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