Winter storm pummels Midwestern states ahead of New Year's Eve holiday

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A forceful winter storm plowed through the Midwestern U.S. on Tuesday, canceling hundreds of flights, shuttering coronavirus testing sites and creating impossible conditions for drivers. 

The National Weather Service had issued winter storm advisories for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Illinois. 


As the system traversed the Cornhusker State, Nebraska, the storm dumped more than 7 inches by Tuesday afternoon.

Iowans also experienced heavy snowfall, with totals up to more than a foot, while Wisconsin saw up to 8 inches. 

Isabel Wang, 8, cross-country skied home through Scheid Park in Golden Valley, Minn., with her younger brother, Fearghus, 4 and father, Hans, during the snowstorm on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

Chicago's Midway Airport got more than 3 inches of snow, O’Hare International Airport measured 2.6 inches, and Rockford Airport counted more than 6 inches by Wednesday morning.

Transportation was impeded in most states as snow fell, causing visibility problems for drivers and pilots alike. 

Nebraska's State Patrol said troopers responded to over 150 weather-related incidents, and Iowa's Department of Transportation urged residents to delay travel plans. Kansas and Illinois law enforcement also reported several accidents, and Missouri's Department of Transportation said roads were covered with snow.

In addition, ice accumulation weighing down power lines led to hundreds of power outages in Iowa, Nebraska and northwest Missouri, according to News Channel Nebraska.

State agencies are on standby as a second front reaching from the Great Lakes to the Southern Plains moves eastward to the Northeast Coast and Southwest to the Western Gulf Coast.


Texas, Mississippi and the Mid-Atlantic are in for a wintry mix, with thunderstorms and heavier precipitation — though reduced in size — predicted through the end of the week.

New Year's Eve celebrations are expected to be damp for the East and Pacific Northwest.

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