Winter Storm Hits Plains, High Winds in Nebraska

CHICAGO - Travel conditions remained hazardous Monday as a winter storm swept across much of the northern Great Plains, with blowing and drifting snow forcing the closure of an airport and creating near-zero visibility on some roads.

Heavy snow, freezing rain and wind gusts will make holiday travel treacherous in swaths of the northern United States.

Much of west central Minnesota north of the Minnesota River remains under a wind advisory Monday, with west winds 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts up to 50 miles per hour.

Most of North Dakota was to remain under a blizzard warning through Monday afternoon or early evening, according to the National Weather Service in Bismarck. Tuesday. The airports serving Fargo and Bismarck also listed flight cancellations on their websites.

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Almost 20,000 customers of the South Dakota Rural Electric Association were without power as of Monday afternoon, according to AP.

The furious winter storm that swept into the northern Great Plains on Christmas Day weakened Tuesday, but thousands remained without power in the Dakotas and MI.

The Minnesota Vikings' plane slid off a runway at Appleton International Airport in Wisconsin Saturday, but no injuries were reported from the incident and all of the plane's passengers were safely rescued by emergency personnel.

At about 4:45 p.m. Sunday, the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol announced the closing of eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 94 from the Montana border to Jamestown beginning at 5:30 p.m., except for Dickinson and the Bismarck/Mandan metro area. In Nebraska, high winds were cited for hundreds of power outages in central and eastern portions of the state.

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One expert said movement around the region was unlikely until late Monday afternoon. In Michigan, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy said 17,300 customers still had no electricity Tuesday morning.

A promised holiday storm in the Minnesota and the Dakotas began Sunday afternoon, December 25, with scattered freezing rain from southeast South Dakota to Minnesota's lakes country.

Southern California even got a dose of snow, with about two inches falling in a mountainous region about 75 miles north of Los Angeles.

Rain was due to move through parts of Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska on Sunday.

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