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Deadly snowstorm buries central USA

The dream of a white Christmas was turning into a nightmare for some as forecasters predicted a heavy snowstorm would continue on Friday across parts of the central United States.

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where snowfall totals reached about 14 inches, crews were out in full force Friday trying to clear roads, move abandoned cars and rescue motorists, CNN affiliate KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City reported. Officials told KOCO some motorists were still trapped Friday and likely spent the night in their vehicles, though hundreds were rescued and taken to shelters.

Forecasters predicted more snow for areas already covered by heavy snowfall Thursday.

The National Weather Service said widespread blizzard conditions would continue in North Dakota through Saturday afternoon, with snowfall totals reaching about 14 inches.

Interstate 94 was ordered closed at 4 p.m. from the Iowa border to the Canadian border due to zero visibility, drifting snow and severe wind gusts, according to a statement from the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The National Weather Service in Bismarck, North Dakota, urged all drivers to stay off the roads, saying they will be “difficult if not impossible” to travel on.

Blizzard warnings were issued Friday for several counties in Minnesota until 6 p.m., according to the weather service. Winter storm warnings were also issued for parts of Iowa and north central Wisconsin.

In north central Kansas, 2 to 6 inches of snow was expected to fall and 6 to 12 inches could pile up across parts of northeast and east central Kansas.

Throughout Minnesota, an additional 1 to 3 inches of snow was expected Friday night, and in the north shore area of Lake Superior, 3 to 6 inches could fall, the weather service said.

Snowfall accumulation in Duluth, Minnesota, and Proctor, Minnesota, will reach about 2 feet, the National Weather Service reported.

“The combination of strong winds and falling and blowing snow will cause dangerously low visibility and drifting snow” for Duluth, the weather service reported.

More than 100 churches in central Nebraska canceled Christmas services, CNN affiliate KHGI-TV reported.


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Guest on 26/12/2009 7:21pm

How about a picture of the snow storm, not the rippling stars and stripes. Or maybe you like that potent symbol of some body else’s patriotism?

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