Deadly snowstorm halts travel in central US
Fierce winds and snow that caused fatal accidents, shuttered highways in five states and may have caused a deadly plane crash, crawled deeper into the Great Plains early Tuesday, with forecasters warning that pre-holiday travel would be difficult if not i
(AP) Wichita - Hotels were filling up quickly along major roadways from eastern New Mexico to Kansas, and nearly 100 rescue calls came in from motorists in the Texas Panhandle as blizzard conditions forced closed part of Interstate 40, a major east-west route, Monday night.
About 10 inches of snow had fallen in western Kansas before dawn Tuesday, and several more inches — along with strong wind gusts — were expected, National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Russell said.
"We're talking about whiteout conditions," he said.
The storm was blamed for at least six deaths Monday, authorities said. Four people were killed when their vehicle collided with a pickup truck in part of eastern New Mexico where blizzard-like conditions are rare, and a prison guard and inmate died when a prison van crashed along an icy roadway in eastern Colorado.
The weather also may have played a role in a single-engine plane crash Monday night in central Texas that killed all five people aboard, two of them children, said Ernest Contreras of the Texas Department of Public Safety.