Colyer declares state of emergency as Midwest faces snowstorm

Colyer declares state of emergency as Midwest faces snowstorm

A blizzard crippled travel across much of the nation's midsection Sunday on what normally would be one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The National Weather Service hosted a weather webinar with government officials and the media mid-afternoon Saturday.

The weather service cautioned that snow, sleet and strong winds will create slick roads, poor visibility and risky travel leading into the morning.

In Kansas, Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a state of emergency declaration. A section of Interstate 70 was closed Sunday morning between Salina and Wakeeny. It warned that addtional cancelations and/or delays are possible when the storm begins to impact the airline's hub at O'Hare International Airport. Anyone who must be on the road, should consult 511 road conditions hotlines and make sure their gas tank is full and cell phone fully charged.

Interstate 29 in Missouri was closed near the Iowa border, the AP reports.

"This storm is expected to hit at a time when millions of people are on the roads, heading home after visiting friends and family", said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.

As the storm passed through Kansas on Sunday evening, the National Weather Service lifted blizzard warnings from the state and declared them in parts of northeast Missouri, including St. Louis, north IL, including Chicago, and southeast Wisconsin.

Many were supposed to be routed through Chicago or Kansas City - areas forecast to be hit hard by the storm. Roads across the southern portion of Iowa were snow-covered, and strong winds created unsafe travel conditions, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. Kansas City in particular is under a blizzard warning, and could see anywhere from 4 to 9 inches of snow with 50 miles per hour winds.

In eastern IL snow was forecast to fall at a rate of about 2 inches per hour.

The storm will continue into northwest Missouri, northern IL and southeast Wisconsin before heading into New England, bringing risky blizzard conditions in its path, the NWS says. A swath of 10+ inch snowfall totals are expected, with locally higher amounts over a foot is possible-particularly in eastern Iowa/western IL.

Chicago was under a winter storm warning, with 3 to 6 inches of snow and gusty winds forecast.

Mesoscale Discussion 1662 NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0357 PM CST Sun Nov 25 2018 Areas affected.Northeast Missouri.far southeast Iowa.portions of western Illinois Concerning.Blizzard Valid 252157Z - 260200Z SUMMARY.Rain/wintry mixed precipitation across the area is expected to transition to snow with eastward progression of the surface low.

Expect travel difficulties and whiteout conditions in some areas with gusty winds developing around the storm system.

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