Texas prepares for 'Ice Friday' as U.S. braces for wintry blast

George Lara, a graduate student at the University of Texas, uses a deicer to clear the windshield of his car on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Odessa, Texas. The winter storm brought sleet and freezing to the West Texas region on Thursday, coating roads with a layer of thin ice and prompting many truckers to pull off the interstate. (AP Photo/The Odessa American, Mark Sterkel)

DALLAS - As a wintry blast makes its way across the United States, Texas prepared for what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday."

Schools cancelled Friday classes and airlines cancelled hundreds of flights one day after shoppers by the thousands jammed store aisles for supplies.

Forecasters issued winter storm and ice warnings for much of Friday for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Areas of the Midwest could see several centimetres of snow.

The system has already dumped up to 60 centimetres of snow in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

North Texans are still haunted by the fiasco of a frozen Super Bowl week two years ago. The inadequate response to a winter storm then crippled the region.

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