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Winter's first Great Lakes effect snowstorm hits

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(Reuters) - Frigid air blasting over the Great Lakes blew in the season's first major lake effect snowstorm on Monday, blocking visibility and causing massive pileups on icy roads from Michigan to Kentucky.

As much as 2 feet of snow was expected to fall on upstate New York by Tuesday as the storm moves eastward from Michigan, where over 1 foot of snow fell by Monday afternoon, said meteorologist Bernie Rayno on Accuweather.com.

"You can see all of the snow showing up from the upper Peninsula of Michigan through western New York state, all the way through western Virginia and Kentucky," Rayno said.

"It's this west-northwest flow over the lakes that's causing this lake effect," he said.

Strong gusting winds and close to zero visibility was blamed for highway crashes such as a 30-car pileup south of Cincinnati that closed parts of Interstate 75 on Monday, police said.

Near Indianapolis, Indiana State Police were working to clear 80 crashes in just over four hours that were caused by slick road conditions which shut sections of Interstates 70, 465 and 65.

"People are sliding into barrier walls and on slick ramps," said Sergeant Rich Myers of Indiana State Police.

(Writing by Barbara Goldberg; Additional reporting by Susan Guyett in Indianapolis and Joe Wessels in Cincinnati; Editing by Greg McCune and Andrew Hay)

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