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REPORTS: Blizzard creates dangerous travel in central US on Christmas Day

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 26, 2016, 5:44:53 AM EST

The reports below are no longer being updated as of 4:30 a.m. CST on Monday.

A major storm will slowly exit the north-central United States on Monday but will continue to create dangerous travel conditions.

The heaviest snow will shift from North Dakota into Manitoba and Ontario on Monday morning. Even after the heavy snow exits the northern Plains, blowing and drifting snow and snow-packed roads will lead to dangerous travel conditions into Tuesday.

Severe weather was spawned in areas farther south on Sunday, with over two dozen reports of wind damage in Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. The threat for severe weather has since diminished.

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As of 2:45 a.m. CST on Monday, over 10,000 South Dakota Rural Electric Association customers are without power. High winds will continue to elevate the threat for power outages, minor property damage and tree damage across the Dakotas and Minnesota through Monday morning.

As of 2:15 a.m. CST on Monday, heavy snow continues to fall across much of North Dakota. Here are some snowfall reports across the northern Plains since Sunday.

Snowfall totals 12.26.16

As of 1:00 a.m. CST on Monday, numerous power outages are being reported along Highway 10 and Interstate 94 in Morton County, North Dakota, according to Montana-Dakota Utilities.

Local officials are warning residents to avoid travel if at all possible across the northern Plains. Heavy snow and whiteout conditions will remain a concern across most of North Dakota and parts of South Dakota through Monday morning.

As of 12:20 a.m. CST on Monday, winds are gusting between 50 and 70 mph from central South Dakota to western Minnesota. Isolated power outages and tree damage will be possible throughout the night.

Ice will continue to cause dangerous travel across portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin overnight. As of 11:39 p.m. CST on Sunday, nearly two-tenths of an inch of ice has accumulated at the St. Cloud Airport in Minnesota.

MN DOT travel

Snow and ice is causing treacherous travel across much of Minnesota on Sunday night. (Image/MNDOT)

I-90 in South Dakota is now closed from the Wyoming border to Chamberlain, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol. I-90 west of Vivian was closed earlier on Sunday. The South Dakota DOT is advising no travel across most of the western and central parts of the state. Icy roads are expected overnight.

At 5:43 p.m. CST on Sunday, an emergency manager for the National Weather Service reported power outages and branches breaking from ice accumulation and wind.

Snow, blowing and drifting snow, and ice on North Dakota roadways have created hazardous driving conditions. At 5:30 p.m. CST, the North Dakota DOT and the North Dakota Highway Patrol closed I-94 eastbound and westbound lanes from the Montana Border to Jamestown, except for the Dickinson and Bismarck/Mandan metro areas; and HWY 83 northbound and southbound lanes from Minot to Bismarck.

I-94 North Dakota

A view of the Grand Marsh Bridge on I-94 W in the Bismarck/Mandan area of North Dakota. (Photo/North Dakota Department of Transportation)

Due to blizzard conditions on South Dakota Highway 34, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising no travel on SD34 east of Sturgis and US-85 west of Cheyenne Crossing.

As of 1:10 p.m. CST, I-80 Laramie-Cheyenne is closed both directions due to winter conditions, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation. In addition, since 12:18 p.m. CST, I-80 Rawlins-Laramie has been closed both directions.

As of 9:30 a.m. CST, snow is starting to coat roads in South Dakota. Motorists are urged to avoid travel on highways 83 and 212 near Gettysburg and Seneca.

Thundersnow was reported in Rapid City, South Dakota, as the storm ramps up.

south dakota dot christmas

(Photo/South Dakota DOT)

Officials in Wyoming also urged motorists to use caution as snow falls early Sunday morning.

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