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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Saturday, 26 December 2009

Midwest US states face fresh blizzards

A man shovels snow in Iowa
Strong winds created large snow drifts in Iowa and elsewhere

A severe winter storm in the US that has seen record amounts of snow fall is set to continue, forecasts say.

Blizzard warnings are still in place for parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The storm has already dumped 14in (35cm) in Oklahoma City - 11.5in more than the previous record snowfall.

Icy roads had been blamed for at least 21 deaths since the storm hit a few days ago.

Drivers in Minnesota reported brief white-out (zero visibility) conditions, and while some managed to continue to their destinations, others were stuck either in their cars or accommodation as the snow made roads impassable.

In Texas, volunteer fire-fighters and sheriff's deputies rescued hundreds of people stranded along Interstate 44 and Texas State Highway 287 near Wichita Falls.

Thirteen inches of snow fell in the area, a National Weather Service meteorologist said

"It's really been horrible," Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said.

It's a big workout just walking outside to check my weather equipment
Kevin Kraujalis
National Weather Service meteorologist

"Although we live in north Texas and get a lot of cold weather, we weren't prepared for the significant amount of snow that we've received."

Interstate roads were also closed in North Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Snow drifts and strong winds could cause further whiteouts, meteorologists warned.

Flights were cancelled, including at Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Rapid City Regional Airport and Pierre Regional Airport.

The Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma's largest airport, was not expected to fully reopen for another two to three days.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Kraujalis said the strong winds were producing snow drifts as deep as 5ft.

"It's awful, it's just awful," he told AP news agency.

"It's a big workout just walking outside to check my weather equipment."

FORECAST FROM BBC WEATHER

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America North forecast for 27/12/2009

Map Key

  • land colour Land
  • cloud colour Cloud
  • Lakes, Rivers & Sea colour Lakes, Rivers & Sea

Fog

Fog Colour Range
Light
Heavy

Frost

Frost Colour Range
Light
Heavy

Pressure Fronts

Cold Front Illustration
Cold
Warm Front Illustration
Warm
Occluded Front Illustration
Occluded

Rain

Rain Colour Range
Light
Heavy
Extreme

Snow

Snow Colour Range
Light
Heavy

Temperature tab only

Temperature (°C)

Temperature range chart


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SEE ALSO
Central US under blizzard alerts
25 Dec 09 |  Americas
Holiday blizzards hit central US
25 Dec 09 |  Americas
In pictures: Christmas around the world
25 Dec 09 |  In Pictures
US emerges from monster snowstorm
21 Dec 09 |  Americas
Midwest shivers as storm passes
10 Dec 09 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Los Angeles Times Snowstorms stall journeys across Midwest, Plains states - 19 hrs ago
Washington Post Blizzard conditions could continue in Plains - 20 hrs ago
Philadelphia Inquirer Digging out, and pressing on - 20 hrs ago
FOXNews.com 21 Dead in Winter Storms as Snow, Ice Strand Travelers - 23 hrs ago
TheStar.com.my White Christmas turns into a headache for some - 24 hrs ago



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