LIVE: Low visibility, difficult travel remain threats in central US following the worst of deadly spring blizzard

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
April 12, 2019, 12:16:59 PM EDT


The intense spring blizzard that has pounded the central United States since Tuesday, April 9, took a deadly turn as it unleashed feet of snow, whiteout conditions and howling winds across the region. So far, at least one person has died as a result of the monster storm after a man in Colorado lost control of his vehicle, colliding head on with a snow plow in the midst of heavy snow, gusty winds and low visibility. While the heaviest snowfall has ended across the region as of Friday morning, the combination of light to moderate snow and gusty winds will keep visibility poor and travel conditions difficult throughout the day.

AccuWeather projects a total of $3 billion in damage and economic loss from the powerful storm, based on an analysis of damages already inflicted and those expected to occur. There was no shortage of travel nightmares for those traveling by air or car this week as they dealt with the misfortune of having plans altered or halted by the storm's far-reaching impacts. Road closures have been common from Colorado through the Dakotas and into Minnesota, where wind-whipped snow brought visibility to near zero.

Accidents have also contributed to the high number of blocked-off roadways. A number of images circulated around social media showing tractor trailers that had jackknifed across entire highways, becoming stranded in banks of snow. Over 100 crashes and more than 160 spinouts were reported in Minnesota alone as of Thursday. The major snowstorm prompted Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to declare a state of emergency on Thursday night. Walz also activated the Minnesota National Guard to help rescue stranded drivers.

Nearly 1,000 flights were canceled and over 1,500 delayed at airports across the region, according to FlightStats. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport accounted for the most cancellations and delays. The high volume of flight disruptions had a ripple effect at airports across the country, resulting in additional cancellations and delays at airports far away from the worst of the blizzard. By Friday morning, chaos at airports spanning the U.S. had calmed down significantly, with arriving and departing traffic experiencing delays of only 15 minutes or less, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Nebraska State Troopers

On April 12, 2019, Nebraska State Troopers responded to a jackknifed semi on HWY 81 North of HWY 84 in Cedar County. (Twitter / Nebraska State Troopers)

Minnesota State Patrol

Strong winds and snow toppled this tractor-trailer on Interstate 35 in Minnesota on Thursday, April 11, 2019 (Twitter / Minnesota State Patrol)

(Twitter photo/@NDHighwayPatrol)

A truck carrying vehicles appeared to slide off the road in North Dakota on Thursday afternoon, prompting a temporary road closure.

(Twitter photo/@NDHighwayPatrol)

Sgt. Denault of the North Dakota Highway Patrol took photos of vehicles that ran off the road into a ditch on Highway 13 near Wyndmere shortly after noon Thursday, April 11.

(Twitter photo/@NDHighway Patrol)

Vehicles including semi trucks slid off Interstate 29 in North Dakota near mile marker 78 on Thursday, April 11. No one was injured, but the road was closed as a result.

(Twitter/ Isanti County Sheriff’s Office)

In central Minnesota, Isanti County officials report that lightning struck a shed amid the thundersnow on Thursday, sending the building up in flames.

(Twitter photo/@NDHighway Patrol)

Vehicles including semi trucks slid off Interstate 29 in North Dakota near mile marker 78 on Thursday, April 11. No one was injured, but the road was closed as a result.

(Twitter photo/@NDHighway Patrol)

Vehicles including semi trucks slid off Interstate 29 in North Dakota near mile marker 78 on Thursday, April 11. No one was injured, but the road was closed as a result.

(Twitter photo/@NDHighwayPatrol)

Sgt. Denault of the North Dakota Highway Patrol took photos of vehicles that ran off the road into a ditch on Highway 13 near Wyndmere shortly after noon Thursday, April 11. In this image, visibility is very poor in the blizzard conditions.

(Twitter photo/@JorgLandCat)

Just 36 hours prior to this photo being taken in Ideal, South Dakota, green grass was visible before a powerful blizzard hit the state.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Traffic backs up along 56th Avenue as a spring storm rolls in before the evening rush hour Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Denver.

(Twitter photo/@MinnehahaCounty)

Ice in Minnehaha County, Minnesota, created dangerous driving conditions and attempts to restore power.

(Twitter photo/Sgt. Jesse Grabow)

A police officer blocks a closed road in Minnesota due to dangerous driving conditions.

(Twitter photo/@MnDPS_HSEM)

Minnesota's Lyon County reported downed trees amid high-speed wind.

(Twitter/@MnDPS_HSEM)

Wind gusts of up to 55 mph from the spring storm have toppled trees in Lyon County.

(Twitter/@MnDPS_HSEM)

High-speed winds that were strong enough to topple trees swept through Marshall, Minnesota.

(Twitter photo/South Dakota Highway Patrol)

Road conditions in South Dakota remained poor on Thursday, April 11.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A United Airlines plane is deiced before taking off from Denver International Airport Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Denver.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

An unidentified man sleeps on his luggage in Denver International Airport Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Denver.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

Hazardous road conditions in Pennington County, South Dakota.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

A flipped vehicle in Pennington County, South Dakota.

(Twitter photo/@CSP_News)

A Colorado State Patrol trooper and another driver were transported to Mercy Hospital in Colorado with non-life threatening injuries after an accident on Highway 160. An investigation is underway.

(Twitter photo/@Rockies)

Coors Field, the home baseball field of the Denver-based Colorado Rockies, is covered in snow on April 11, 2019.

(Twitter/ Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow)

Several jack-knifed tractor-trailers were reported in Minnesota on I-94 on Thursday.

(Twitter photo/@CSP_News)

A CSP vehicle with a trooper inside was hit during the storm on Highway 160. Both the trooper and the other driver were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

Whiteout conditions from Pactola, South Dakota, on Highway 385 and Catron Blvd.

(Photo/NOAA)

This satellite image shows the major snowstorm impacting the central U.S. around 11 a.m. CDT on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

A flipped vehicle in Pennington County, South Dakota.

(Twitter photo/Minnesota Department of Transportation, District 6)

Snow falls in southwestern Minnesota on Wednesday, April 10. Officials warn motorists to take the proper safety precautions.

(Twitter photo/@ruralroots)

A picture from north central South Dakota, where there is a foot or more of fresh snow.

(Twitter photo/South Dakota Highway Patrol)

Hazardous conditions reported in the Rapid City area, South Dakota, on Wednesday.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

Whiteout conditions from Pactola, South Dakota, on Highway 385 and Catron Blvd.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

Whiteout conditions from Pactola, South Dakota, on Highway 385 and Catron Blvd.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

Photos from Deputies of the conditions in various parts of Pennington County, South Dakota.

(Twitter photo/@PennCoSheriff)

Photos from Deputies of the conditions in various parts of Pennington County, South Dakota.

(Twitter photo/South Dakota Highway Patrol)

"Please do not travel unless it is an emergency! Cars that slide off the road may not be removed until conditions improve," South Dakota Highway Patrol said on Twitter.

(Twitter photo/Ryan Sheldon)

Accident reported in South Dakota by mile marker 221 near the rest area on I-90.

(Twitter photo/Perkins County Sheriff's Office)

Snow covers the roads in Perkins County, South Dakota, on Wednesday morning.

(Twitter photo/Perkins County Sheriff's Office)

The South Dakota DOT helped Perkins County officials get to stranded motorists on Wednesday morning.

(Twitter photo/Perkins County Sheriff's Office)

More snow is expected to fall in Perkins County, South Dakota, on Wednesday.

(Twitter photo/South Dakota Department of Public Safety)

Many roads in South Dakota are covered with snow on Wednesday morning.

(Twitter photo/Brad Letcher with South Dakota DOT)

Officials report that roads in the Huron Area, South Dakota, are slushy and slippery on Wednesday morning.

(Twitter photo/Minnesota Department of Transportation, District 7)

Snow causes travel disruptions and delays in southwestern Minnesota on Wednesday morning.

(Twitter photo/Minnesota Department of Transportation, District 8)

Snow covers the roads in southwestern Minnesota on Wednesday morning.

(Twitter photo/South Dakota Highway Patrol)

Road conditions are deteriorating on Interstate 29 south of Watertown, South Dakota. Officials warn motorists to stay home.

(Twitter photo/Mark Peterson with South Dakota DOT)

South Dakota Department of Transportation maintenance forces are out as conditions continue to deteriorate.

(Twitter photo/Minnesota Department of Transportation, District 8)

Snow is piling up in southwestern Minnesota, especially between Highway 19 and Highway 30. The Marshall area has accumulated about 5 inches of snow on the ground, as of Wednesday morning.


Wind gusts over 50 mph were common as the storm spun vigorously over the central U.S. this week, blowing over trees, toppling power lines and even knocking some high-profile vehicles over onto their sides. Pueblo West, Colorado, was rattled by an astonishing wind gust of 107 mph on Wednesday as the system rapidly strengthened over Colorado. A gustnado was also reported in the area on Wednesday afternoon.

During the height of the storm, more than 75,000 electric customers were without power from Colorado through Michigan, with strong winds bringing down new power lines as quickly as they could be repaired. By Thursday evening, the number of outages had been reduced to around 46,000, according to PowerOutage.us , with that number dropping to around 14,000 in Minnesota as of Friday morning. Some residents may remain without power through Friday.

On the storm's southern side, the high winds and dry air made for a high fire danger for portions of New Mexico and Texas. These strong winds also kicked up clouds of dust over New Mexico and Texas so large that they were able to be viewed from space. The clouds of dust eventually mixed in and fell with the snow over Minnesota, covering some people’s yards in a blanket of yellow, orange and brown snow.

Snowfall update South Dakota


South Dakota has seen some of the most significant snowfall totals with some spots, such as Norbeck, reporting 25 inches of snow. The persistent winds whipping across the region caused even higher snow drifts, topping 5 feet tall on some occasions. Officials have advised people across the region to avoid all travel until conditions improve. Thundersnow has also been reported, particularly on the eastern and northern areas of the storm.

AccuWeather reporters Jonathan Petramala and Blake Naftel are covering the storm in Watertown, South Dakota. As relentless wind and snow continued to pummel the region, thundersnow and lightning broke out in the sky above. Petramala captured video in the midst of a powerful snowdrift that left a pickup truck trapped in a parking lot. The motorist inside the vehicle was only able to escape with the assistance of a driver in another truck who towed the stuck vehicle out.

The snowfall totals will continue to grow before all is said and done.

"The snow will continue across much of the Dakotas into Friday morning, with a few snow showers on the backside of the storm on Friday," Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Derek Witt said. "Western and northern areas of Minnesota will continue seeing snow through Friday."

Widespread school closures were reported across the region on Thursday, including many Denver area schools. Although conditions may improve in Denver to allow schools to reopen on Friday, that may not be the case for schools elsewhere in the central U.S. "Schools across much of the Dakotas, eastern Nebraska, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan will likely struggle to reopen on Friday as the snow continues falling across those areas," Witt said.

In terms of overall power, this week's storm rivals the bomb cyclone storm that tore through the middle of country last month and unleashed historic flooding in the Midwest when it was over. However, AccuWeather meteorologists aren't expecting flooding to be on a similar scale after this storm wraps up.

"Where the bulk of the rain falls with this week's storm, there is no snow on the ground, and the ground has thawed to allow some retention of moisture," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski explained. "Even though rivers are high and some are currently still at major flood stage, a new round of record river flooding caused by this week's storm is not expected."

Download the AccuWeather app to get minute-by-minute updates on the storm, and stay tuned to AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios for continued storm coverage.

Scroll down to follow live updates of the storm.

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10:58 a.m. CDT Friday:

In central Minnesota, Isanti County officials report that lightning struck a shed amid the thundersnow on Thursday, sending the building up in flames.

"It’s a blizzard out there and out of nowhere, BOOM! Lightning strikes, starting a shed on fire," the Isanti County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet.

The Sheriff's Office and the Isanti Fire District responded to this unique call at 4:30 p.m. local time on Thursday.

"Minnesota weather, amirite?" the Isanti County Sheriff's Office tweeted.

The storm continues to ease up in central Minnesota on Friday.

Mn Shed Fire blizzard, thundersnow 4-2019

In Minnesota, Isanti County officials report that lightning struck a shed amid the thundersnow on Thursday, sending the building up in flames. (Twitter/ Isanti County Sheriff’s Office)



10:31 a.m. CDT Friday:

Road conditions are improving in Minnesota, but travel advisories remain as many roads are covered in snow, slush and ice. Troopers continue to respond to crashes and vehicles sliding off the road.

Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) is investigating a fatal crash that occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m. local time on Friday. The crash occurred on Highway 12/ Highway 25, and preliminary information indicates that the crash was between a semi and a car, according to MSP Public Information Officer (PIO) Sgt. Jesse Grabow.

No details have been released on the cause of the crash.



9:37 a.m. CDT Friday:

Rocky Mountain National Park closed several areas of the park due to the storm.

Some areas of the park reopened on Friday, but other areas remain closed.

Wild Basin Road remains closed at the Sandbeach Parking area due to the inclement weather.



9:15 a.m. CDT Friday:

Over 8,000 Xcel Energy customers are without power in Minnesota on Friday morning.

On Thursday afternoon, more than 500 Xcel Energy employees worked to restore power for their customers across Minnesota and South Dakota.

"As storms continue and cause new outages, hundreds of additional workers from neighboring areas are on their way to assist," Xcel Energy said in a tweet on Thursday evening.

Crews worked in blizzard conditions on Thursday in the Sioux Falls area to restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible.

Minnesota Power crews also worked into Thursday evening to restore power to their customers affected by outages.

"All larger outages have been restored," Minnesota Power said on Twitter on Friday morning. "Crews are working to clear trees on wire, wires down etc., that will be taken as crews are freed up from the smaller no power issues. "


8:45 a.m. CDT Friday:

Several locations have received over 20 inches of snow from the storm as of Friday morning. Many of these high snowfall totals occurred in South Dakota and a few occurred in Wyoming.

As of Friday morning, White River, South Dakota, received the highest snowfall total of 26 inches.

Some snow will linger through Friday and into Friday night across northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and parts of western and central Ontario, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

An additional 1 to 3 inches of snow will fall Friday and Friday night across much of the northern half of Minnesota. Across western and central Ontario, snowfall will total 3 to 6 inches through Saturday morning.


8:15 a.m. CDT Friday:

Treacherous travel conditions continue to cause delays and accidents in the Sioux Falls area in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) crews are out and clearing the roads on Thursday morning.

"We know everyone is getting anxious to get moving but staying off roadways helps get it cleared faster," SDDOT said in a tweet.


No travel is advised across two-thirds of the state due to ice, blowing snow and limited visibility, according to SDDOT.

A number of major roads remain closed on Friday morning.



8:00 a.m. CDT Friday:

A crash, involving a pickup truck and a Denver International Airport (DIA) snowplow, resulted in the death of United Aircraft Inspector James Raff, a resident of Aurora, Colorado.

The truck, driven by 65-year-old Raff, lost control due to the road conditions.

"The snow plow tried to avoid the crash but the truck crashed with the plow," said Jay Casillas, technician at the Denver Police Department. "The driver of the truck was pronounced deceased at the scene and was not transported. There were no other injuries reported."

The accident occurred on Wednesday night on 11110 N Queensburg Street near the DIA.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Aircraft Inspector Jim Raff. The thoughts of the entire United family are with his loved ones," United Airlines said in a statement to AccuWeather on Friday morning.


7:08 a.m. CDT Friday:

The NWS office in Rapid City, South Dakota, reports that the area has received a total of 11.5 inches of snowfall since Tuesday evening.

The NWS office has received 68.6 inches for the year, making it the sixth snowiest winter on record so far, the NWS Rapid City office said in a tweet.

Light snow and drifting snow will taper off, but hazardous travel will persist early Thursday morning


6:30 a.m. CDT Friday:

Some major roads remain impassable on Thursday morning in areas surrounding Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Travel is still not advised across most of the region in South Dakota.

Roads remain partially to completely covered with snow and ice in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa, the NWS Sioux Falls office said in a tweet.


2:25 a.m. CDT Friday:

Rapid City, South Dakota, has eclipsed its normal snowfall for all of April with this storm. Over 11 inches of snow have been reported thus far, with light snow continuing to fall.

The city typically picks up 7.9 inches of snow during the month.



1:20 a.m. CDT Friday:

Images from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office in South Dakota show vehicles stuck in snow drifts of 2-3 feet on Country Road.

Crews will not be able to clear the roadway until later Friday morning.



12:15 a.m. CDT Friday:

A trained spotter near Iola, Wisconsin, reports that a quarter of an inch of freezing rain has accumulated, creating a thin coating of ice on outdoor objects.



11:00 p.m. CDT Thursday:

The Minnesota State Patrol reports a total of 55 vehicle accidents in the span of five hours amid snowy weather late Thursday afternoon and evening.

Motorists are urged to continue to use caution on the roadways into Friday morning as snow and wind persist.



8:45 p.m. CDT Thursday:

A state of emergency has been declared in Minnesota in response to the major snowstorm impacting the state.

Freeborn, Marshall, Mower and Steele counties have requested assistance from the Minnesota National Guard to help rescue stranded motorists.



6:20 p.m. CDT Thursday:

At least one fatality is being blamed on the snowstorm in the central U.S. after a 65-year-old man from Aurora, Colorado, lost control of his vehicle and struck a snowplow head on, CBS4 reported.

The deadly crash occurred around 9 p.m. CDT Wednesday. The driver of the snowplow was not injured.


4:40 p.m. CDT Thursday

Troopers across Minnesota are continuing to respond to jackknifed semi trucks. While out directing traffic around one of these semis in Jackson County, a Minnesota trooper was knocked down by a strong gust of wind.

The trooper was not injured.



3:34 p.m. CDT Thursday

Snowfall in Norbeck, South Dakota, has risen to 25 inches, bypassing Dupree, Mud Butte and Belle Fourche in the top snow reports for the state.

Mansfield is in a close second at 24.5 inches, while the past leaders in the count remain at 18 inches.


2:00 p.m. CDT Thursday

Ice accumulation is hampering attempts to restore power in areas surrounding Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The Hartford Area Fire and Rescue hall is open as a shelter for residents who have lost power, according to the Minnehaha Sheriff's Office.

Many locations across northwestern Iowa will continue to have temperatures above freezing through Thursday afternoon and evening. Colder, below-freezing air is forecast to move in after midnight, according to the NWS Sioux Falls office.

Winds will remain powerful through Thursday night. The strongest gusts will continue to be around 40 to 50 mph, with isolated higher gusts. The highest gust on Thursday, 69 mph, was recorded in Mitchell, South Dakota.



1:24 p.m. CDT Thursday

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) shared a map showing the statewide travel hazards.

There are reports of flooding, blizzard and white conditions, icy conditions, thundersnow, strong winds, downed power lines and vehicle crashes.

"We're ready for the weekend," MnDOT said in a tweet.

MnDOT Traffic map Thursday afternoon

(MnDOT)



12:30 p.m. CDT Thursday

There have been a few instances of trucks blown over across Iowa due to high winds. A semi was blown over on I-380 just south of Waterloo, Iowa, the NWS Office in Des Moines tweeted.

Also in Iowa, an extreme high wind warning was issued in Franklin County.

High winds have also been reported in Minnesota over the last 24 hours. The highest wind speed, 58 mph, was recorded in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, on Thursday morning.



12:00 p.m. CDT Thursday

Minnesota residents have reported a tan, orange or yellow tint in their snow on Thursday. Some residents have described it as "dirty snow."

The color is likely due to dust that was blown by high winds all the way from west Texas, the NWS Twin Cities office said in a tweet.

GOES16 captures the yellow signature of airborne dust making its way northward overnight on Wednesday. Reports of dirty snow are likely in areas of South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan as well.



11:45 a.m. CDT Thursday

Power outages from the winter storm in the Midwest are reaching Iowa and Wisconsin.

Nearly 15,000 Alliant Energy customers are affected by power outages, with the majority of those affected in Iowa.

Alliant Energy crews are responding to power outages in both Iowa and Wisconsin.



11:20 a.m. CDT Thursday

Road conditions are not good to very poor across much of the lower half of Minnesota.

Officials urge motorists not to travel in western and parts of south-central Minnesota due to blizzard conditions, the NWS Twin Cities office said in a tweet.

Minnesota travel map 4-11-2019

(Minnesota DOT)


Road conditions are poor in areas across South Dakota, as slippery roads and strong winds are causing problems for motorists, South Dakota Highway Patrol said in a tweet.

Numerous roads remain closed in South Dakota due to poor conditions and accidents.



10:50 a.m. CDT Thursday

Relentless wind and snow continue in Watertown, South Dakota, as the blizzard rolls through the region.

AccuWeather Reporter Jonathan Petramala, who is covering the storm in Watertown, captured thundersnow on video earlier Thursday. Officials warn residents to stay indoors due to lightning reports.

Petramala also witnessed a white truck stuck in a snow drift. Luckily, another driver was able to help out the struggling vehicle.



10:28 a.m. CDT Thursday

Visibility is dropping across the southern James River Valley in North Dakota as snow moves into the area from the south, the NWS office in Bismarck tweeted.

The snow will slowly spread north throughout the state on Thursday.


9:30 a.m. CDT Thursday

The Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) has been monitoring storm reports around the state.

"The biggest impacts we’re seeing right now are focused in southern Minnesota," the Minnesota HSEM said in a tweet.

Downed power lines have been reported in numerous counties across southern Minnesota. For example, Jackson County reports 100 downed power poles, and the electric company is contacting utility partners to request assistance to restore service, HSEM said in a Facebook post.

Officials warn motorists to stay of the roads in these areas.



9:30 a.m. CDT Thursday

Parts of Renville County, Minnesota, are under a severe thunderstorm warning while also experiencing snow and ice.

There are a number of different watches and warnings across the Upper Midwest on Thursday morning.

Radar shot Renville County, Minnesota Watches 4-11-2019



8:44 a.m. CDT Thursday

Highways are closed in Lyon County, Minnesota, on Thursday morning due to the extreme weather, according to the City of Marshall.

Throughout Lyon County, some traffic control signals have been set to blinking red due to power glitches. Officials say that motorists should treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

As of early Thursday morning, all roads in Lyon County are listed as "Travel Not Advised." The region remains under Blizzard Warning until Friday morning.



8:26 a.m. CDT Thursday

Several traffic lights are out within the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, due to power outages related to the severe weather.

"When you come across these intersections, please treat them as a 4 way stop and when it is clear proceed through the intersection safely," Sioux Falls Police said in a tweet.

More 5,000 Xcel Energy customers are affected by 124 power outages in the Sioux Falls area.


8:01 a.m. CDT Thursday

Temperatures are expected to be 25 to 40 F colder than Wednesday's highs on Thursday afternoon around Norman, Oklahoma.

On Wednesday evening, strong winds created areas of blowing dust from southern New Mexico and northwestern Mexico to western Texas and western Oklahoma, according to the NWS office in Norman, Oklahoma.

Sand may be seen blowing northeast from White Sands National Monument into south-central New Mexico.

On Wednesday afternoon, critical to extreme fire weather conditions covered parts of western Oklahoma and north Texas due to low relative humidity and windy conditions, according to NWS Norman.



6:45 a.m. CDT Thursday:

Several major roads remain closed on Thursday morning throughout Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.

State officials urge motorists to only travel when necessary, and if necessary, to take the proper safety precautions when traveling.

Over 240 crashes reported throughout the state of Minnesota from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday. None of these accidents were fatal or caused serious injury, according to Minnesota State Patrol Public Information Officer (PIO) Lt. Gordon Shank.

Road closure graphic- central US April Blizzard 4-11-2019


The Safe Travel USA map shows the many roads closed throughout South Dakota. No travel is advised across much of the state, according to South Dakota Department (SDDOT).

"Many counties are also advising no travel on their roads. Stay where you are," SDDOT said in the tweet.

SD travel map Thursday morning 4-11-2019

(Safe Travel USA)



6:10 a.m. CDT Thursday:

AccuWeather Video Journalist Blake Naftel reported blizzard conditions with over 50-mph winds on Thursday morning in Watertown, South Dakota.



5:28 a.m. CDT Thursday:

Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools have announced closures and class cancellations for April 11 due to the inclement weather conditions. Other nearby school districts are starting to follow suit.



4:30 a.m. CDT Thursday:

Power outages are on the rise in Minnesota with nearly 10,000 customers without electricity.

Minnesota State Patrol reported that a power line was down across State Highway 56 and County Road 1 in Waltham. Oeer 213 vehicle accidents were reported in the state, but none were fatal. At least 33 crashes involved injuries.

Wind gusts have reached 39 mph at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport within the past half of an hour.

satellite

A satellite view of the major storm in the central U.S. early Thursday, April 11, 2019. (NOAA)



3:10 a.m. CDT Thursday:

Road conditions remain treacherous from Colorado to Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin as snow and ice continue across the region.

Power outages are starting to mount. In South Dakota, over 9,000 customers are without power, while nearly 7,500 are in the dark in Iowa, according to poweroutage.us.



2:00 a.m. CDT Thursday:

As a major spring storm intensifies, there are reports of thunder and lightning accompanying snow and ice across the central U.S. This includes around Rochester, Minnesota.



1:20 a.m. CDT Thursday:

Winds have gusted as high as 51 mph in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with visibility reduced to one-quarter of a mile. Three to 6 inches of snow are expected to fall in the city by Thursday night.



12:00 a.m. CDT Thursday:

The Colorado State Patrol announced additional road closures "due to visibility issues and extremely icy conditions." The closures include portions of I-70.



For previous updates on the storm: LIVE: Snow buries South Dakota as massive spring storm strengthens

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