Published: Tue, December 27, 2016
National | By Miranda Cannon

Brutal holiday blizzard wreaks havoc across northern US

Brutal holiday blizzard wreaks havoc across northern US

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for most of North Dakota, western South Dakota and a small section of eastern Montana through Monday, with expected snow totals of 8in to 15in and winds up to 55mph.

In Appleton, Wisconsin, where snow had fallen on Friday evening, a plane carrying the Minnesota Vikings National Football League team slid off a runway, local airport and team officials said.

"Nearly every highway has been shut down (or no travel is advised) during the overnight hours across North Dakota and the western half of South Dakota", the weather service said.

His advice to travelers: "Stay put".

Freezing rain forms on the branches and seeds of a tree Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016, in south Jamestown, N.D. The freezing rain caused some power outages in rural Stutsman, LaMoure and Dickey counties.

Almost every highway across North Dakota and the western half of South Dakota was shut down on Sunday night, or no travel was advised, the weather service said. "Then it's dig-out time".

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Forecasters say that travel will become hard throughout the day into tonight , including the morning and evening commutes. The storm system will continue to move east, bringing rain to the Central and Southern Plains by Saturday night.

In southeast Nebraska, high winds were cited as the likely cause of about 800 Omaha Public Power District customers losing power Sunday, the Omaha World-Reported. "The freezing rain from earlier today and dropping temps have created icy and slushy roadways; falling snow and increasing winds are creating zero visibility conditions in the west", the department said in a statement.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop over parts of eastern Texas and the lower MS valley Sunday evening.

Barrett, who covered his face with a bandanna to buffer blowing snow and sleet, said he chose to walk rather than drive after freezing rain in the morning created unsafe driving conditions. As of shortly after 6pm, flooding was reported at several major intersections in Aberdeen.

The deteriorating weather may derail travel plans for some of the 94 million Americans who the American Automobile Association say will hit the roads during the holidays.

"Blizzard conditions will continue in parts of the northern Plains through at least Monday morning".

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