Christmas Blizzard Closes Major Roads, Snags Travel In Plains And Midwest


A significant winter storm that started on Christmas persisted into Tuesday, closing major roads and snarling travel across the U.S. Plains and Midwest on one of the biggest travel days of the year.

As of Tuesday afternoon, blizzard warnings remained in effect in parts of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado, with some warnings expected to persist into Wednesday morning,

The hazardous conditions shut down parts of Interstate 90 in South Dakota, Interstates 29 and 94 in North Dakota and Interstate 70 in Colorado, which have since reopened—but “no travel” advisories and regional road closures remain in effect in many areas.

Parts of Interstate 80 in Nebraska—one of the state’s primary east-west roads—remained closed as of Tuesday afternoon.

Snowfall totals have been heaviest in central South Dakota, reaching around a foot between Monday and Tuesday, per the National Weather Service, and strong wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph have contributed to harsh travel conditions.

The worst of the storm is set to continue winding down Tuesday with light snow expected across parts of the Midwest from Wednesday into Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. But as blizzard conditions end, “an area of rain/freezing rain will develop over parts of the Northern Plains into the Upper Mississippi Valley.”

While blizzard conditions hammer much of the Midwest, other parts of the United States are seeing some of their warmest winters in decades. Minneapolis, Chicago and Rochester all approached record temperatures on Christmas.

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