Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great Plains storm tapers off, but holiday travel could be rough

Amy Hubbard in the Los Angeles Times: The fierce winter storm sweeping across the Great Plains on Tuesday, wreaking havoc on highways and causing at least six deaths, is tapering off. But transportation is still wretched, and holiday travelers this week should plan on a few bumps, according to experts.

Travel will be "an issue" in the aftermath of the area's first big blizzard of the season, according to AccuWeather. Meteorologists at the website saw the possibility of weather-related travel problems continuing for hundreds of thousands of people at major transportation hubs, including Denver, Atlanta and New York City.

A winter storm warning was canceled for parts of Kansas as of 1:34 p.m. CST, said the National Weather Service, although a winter weather advisory remained in effect for some parts of that state and Oklahoma through 6 p.m. CST.

Early Tuesday, snow and rain were pushing through the heart of the U.S., according to AccuWeather. Colorado received 15 inches of snow; New Mexico, 12; and the storm reached into Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle and parts of Kansas.

Major highways were closed during the worst of the storm, but officials have since reopened portions of several interstates, according to the Associated Press. Around noon CST, Interstate 70 in Kansas and the I-40 in the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico reopened, the AP reported....

Photo of a 1966 blizzard in Jamestown, North Dakota, shot by Bill Koch, North Dakota State Highway Department. The original caption: "I believe there is a train under here somewhere!"

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