- Winter Storm Harold caused multivehicle pileups on several interstates across the Upper Plains.
- Three people were killed in a collision on I-80 in Nebraska.
- Minnesota’s governor authorized the National Guard to provide emergency services for stranded motorists,
The winter storm heading for the East Coast has left behind hundreds of crashes that closed interstates, canceled flights and caused power outages in the Upper Plains.
Blizzard conditions made travel especially treacherous in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa on Wednesday into Thursday. The storm system will move through the East into early Christmas Day, where it will bring strong winds, flooding rainfall, snow and severe thunderstorms.
Three people, including a 4-year-old child, were killed when their GMC Yukon crossed the median on Interstate 80 and collided with a semitractor-trailer about 10:40 a.m. Wednesday near Hershey, Nebraska, according to the Nebraska State Patrol. Two other passengers in the SUV were injured and taken to a hospital in Denver. The driver of the semi was not injured.
The system, dubbed Winter Storm Harold by The Weather Channel, was blamed for multiple-vehicle pileups on several interstates.
A 15-car pileup shut down a stretch of Interstate 29 west of Dell Rapids in South Dakota. A 25-vehicle crash blocked Interstate 90 between Sioux Falls and Hartford, South Dakota. The westbound lanes remained closed overnight.
The two pileups injured 11 people, according to the Argus Leader.
(FORECAST: Christmas Week Storm Heads for the East)
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 435 crashes from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, and 570 vehicles spun out or ran off the road. At least 38 tractor-trailers jackknifed, the Patrol said.
Eastbound Interstate 94 was closed between Monticello and Rogers, west of Minneapolis, for three hours because of a multi-vehicle crash and pileup, The Associated Press reported.
Portions of Interstate 80 were closed throughout the day in Nebraska, where the State Patrol said it responded to 250 weather-related incidents, including 59 crashes.
The Iowa State Patrol reported 31 crashes as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport canceled 313 flights Wednesday because of the blizzard conditions, KARE reported. More than 50 have already been canceled for Thursday.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz authorized the National Guard to provide emergency services for stranded motorists, KARE reported.
Xcel Energy said the storm knocked out power to as many as 38,000 customers in Minnesota on Wednesday, according to KSMP. Most customers had their power restored by Thursday morning.
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