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Winter storm dumping snow across much of Illinois

Morning commuters face the snow after exiting Union station. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

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

As snow started falling Saturday morning in Chicago, it had already been coming down since Friday night to the south. Springfield and other communities have declared snow emergencies for the weekend to make sure people don’t park vehicles along designated snow routes. And as Illinois State Police and other agencies respond to vehicle crashes, officials in Peoria and several other communities are urging people to stay off the increasingly hazardous roadways.

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.