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(NECN/NBC News: Jay Gray) - The Midwest is bracing this morning for yet another wave of snow and ice. Forecasters say the this latest system could be the roughest of the winter and the Chicago area could be one of the hardest hit.
This is just the beginning of conditions that forecasters say will continue to get worse over the next 24 hours. This latest round of harsh winter weather started its' assault in the Dakotas.
Heavy bands of snow began moving through Monday, at times dropping more than an inch an hour and making a mess of everything including roadways.
"In spots it is pretty slick," says Aaron Hummel.
It was too slick for some drivers, who had to have some help getting out of the powder and ice. Even for those that were able to stay on the roads, getting around was a struggle.
"They're a little icy. It's hard to tell," says Bill Collins.
In an area used to its share of tough winter storms, this one has their attention.
In Minot, officials made the rare decision to shut down schools because of the conditions.
"It's not something that happens frequently, relative to some other locations in the country,” says Dr. Jeffrey Holm, Minot Superintendent. “But, safety of course, has to come first."
A concern for many across the Midwest now is the next stop for this storm.
As road crews prepared in Chicago, it “could be a very messy rush hour."
Looking to avoid that mess, many crowded home improvement stores ahead of the snow and ice.
“As soon as we were putting down the pallets of salt they were picking up the bags and walking out with them. I mean everything. They didn't care what type of salt it was... As long as it melted the ice."
They are stocking up for what could be a rough couple of days here.
A winter storm warning is in effect right now and will continue through Tuesday night, as conditions continue to get worse.