Elementary school students, some escorted by parents, cross a snowy street en route to school as a blizzard dropped snow over Boulder, Colo., Wednesday Dec. 19, 2012. A storm that has dumped more than a foot of snow in the Rocky Mountains is heading east and is forecast to bring the first major winter storm of the season to the central plains and Midwest. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)A major snowstorm was sweeping across several states early Thursday, shuttering schools, creating treacherous roadways and threatening to slow down one of the nation's busiest airports ahead of the holiday weekend.

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