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Winter Storm Xanto Kills Two as It Pushes East, Creating a Travel Nightmare - http://travelporn.info | luxury travel sites

April 15, 2018 3:27 am
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April Snowstorm: Winter Storm Xanto Producing Blizzard In the Plains

Winter Storm Xanto is producing blizzard conditions in the Plains, and will lay down a swath of heavy snow, even some ice, from the Upper Midwest into northern New England into early next week. 

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Winter Storm Xanto continued its easterly trek Saturday, causing a travel nightmare and killing two people.

Officials warned drivers to stay off roads where blizzard conditions are present.

The storm forced the cancelations of flights in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Winter Storm Xanto continued its eastwardly trek Saturday with blizzard conditions that have killed an Idaho truck driver in Nebraska, shut down interstates and prompted officials to warn people to stay home. 

The Nebraska State Patrol says Rollo Ward, 61, of Idaho Falls, was killed Friday when the semi-trailer he was driving lost control near Chappell in western Nebraska and crashed into a second semi-trailer that had become stranded in the blizzard, the Associated Press reports.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin, a 30-year-old woman from Poynette was killed when she lost control of her minivan early Saturday morning and struck an SUV on Highway 16 near Lewiston. Three passengers in the minivan and the driver of the SUV were transported to an area hospital with injuries, the AP reports. 

(MORE: Check the Forecast for Winter Storm Xanto)

On Saturday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no travel in all of Murray and Pipestone counties in southwestern Minnesota and portions of Lyon and Lincoln counties due to limited visibility and blizzard conditions.

The announcement comes a day after the South Dakota Department of Transportation announced the closure of Interstate 90 from Rapid City to Mitchell – a stretch of nearly 300 miles, as well as the closure of Interstate 29 from the North Dakota border to Brookings.

On Saturday, I-90 from Sioux Falls to the Minnesota border remained closed. I-29 from Summit to Sioux Falls also remains closed.

Sioux Falls regional airport was closed Friday and will remain so until Saturday night, the AP reports. Meanwhile, more than 400 flights, or half of all flights flying in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, were canceled Saturday afternoon.

In a Facebook post, the South Dakota Highway Patrol warned drivers that secondary roads might not be an option if interstates get shut down.

“Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route,” the agency said. “If you travel, wear a seatbelt. Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car and a charged cell phone with location turned on in your car, but don’t rely on the phone to get you out of trouble. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

Winds associated with the storm downed hundreds of trees in Michigan Saturday, knocking out power to as many as 23,000 customers, AP reports.

In Minnesota, where the Twin Cities have dealt with several recent winter storms, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum delayed the yearly spring cleanup again because of Xanto, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

“We’re more than two and a half weeks behind normal,” Alan Branhagen, director of operations at the arboretum, told the Star Tribune.

The Minnesota Twins’ weekend series at home against the Chicago White Sox was postponed for a second day Saturday, the AP reports.

The National Weather Service warned of potential coastal flooding in Wisconsin and Illinois along Lake Michigan, with waves that could reach as high as 18 feet.

The storm will continue to bring locally heavy snowfall and gusty winds, says weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam.

“In some locations winds gust up to 65 mph are possible and when combined with the snow will significantly reduce visibility. Travel will be dangerous to impossible in many locations from northwestern Kansas and eastern Colorado into southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa, where blizzard warnings have been issued,” Lam added.