Historic April blizzard dumps snow on Plains and Upper Midwest

Historic April blizzard dumps snow on Plains and Upper Midwest

Several snow-packed highways remained closed Friday in Nebraska, and forecasters warned that unseasonably low temperatures would remain through the weekend.

Still, meteorologists and safety officials warned of possible unsafe road conditions the next two days. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in much of his state, where the Minnesota State Patrol has responded to more than 500 crashes since Wednesday.

"We look back at the top 10 largest snow events and we've seen several 10-inch events in April stretching back to 1893", Hewett said.

The heaviest snow will hit north central Nebraska, central and southeast South Dakota and Minnesota, including metro Minneapolis, as the storm system continues its track toward northeast into Canada.

The snow plow was traveling northbound while the pickup truck was going southbound - the truck lost control due to road conditions and crashed into the snow plow, Casillas said. "Unless you are experiencing an emergency, please stay off the roads", the National Weather Service said in a message it relayed on behalf of the two counties.

About half of the daily flights at Denver International Airport were cancelled on Wednesday.

Warm spring temperatures on Tuesday, upwards of 80 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver, gave way to frigid 20s, heavy snow, gale-force winds and life-threatening conditions, the National Weather Service said.

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"Right now we have many, many power outages, power crews aren't even able to get out to fix them", Dreyer said.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem closed government offices in most of the state for a third straight day Friday. Over the coming days, the National Weather Service forecasts South Dakotans can expect as much as 24 inches in snow accumulations in the worst-affected places.

(ABC News) Snowfall totals will be heaviest throughout South Dakota, northern Nebraska and western Minnesota. Parts of Nebraska were buried in more than a foot of snow (30.5 centimeters) and even deeper drifts, thanks to winds gusting to more than 60 miles per hour (96.6 kph).

The system also created hazardous wildfire conditions in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The storm, named Wesley by The Weather Channel, brought risky winds, heavy snowfalls, hail risk, downed powerlines, flooding and even thunderstorms and tornado warnings in some areas. In southern New Mexico, the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range closed Wednesday because of the high winds.

In addition to the immediate impacts, the storm threatened to swell rivers in the Midwest that flooded after March's drenching, which caused billions of dollars in flood damage in Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and South Dakota.

"The problem is that we're not getting any time for the water to recede and things to dry out, so the levees can't be fixed; houses can't be fixed; crops can't be planted", he said.

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