Powerful Winter Storm Makes Travel Impossible in US Upper Midwest

Most of Interstate 90 west of the Missouri River in South Dakota remained closed into Monday afternoon and state officials were warning people to avoid driving, as the icy, snowy conditions with high winds made conditions unsafe.

Due to blizzard conditions on South Dakota Highway 34, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising no travel on SD34 east of Sturgis and US-85 west of Cheyenne Crossing.

The city of Bismarck issued a snow emergency as of 6 p.m. Sunday night, meaning all vehicles must be removed from designated snow emergency routes so the city can plow overnight, My ND Now reports.

A blizzard warning was in effect for most of North Dakota, western South Dakota and a small section of eastern Montana through Monday, with expected snow totals of 8 to 15 inches and winds up to 55 miles per hour. Each state's transportation department reported multiple highway closures as of midday Monday.

An icy mix is expected across Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and parts of ME and western MA at the start of the week.

Visiblity had dropped to three blocks or less in Belle Fourche shortly after noon.

Overnight, a bit of snow and light drifting issued a warning of its own as snow and ice stuck fast to vehicle windshields, and by 3 p.m. Sunday, traffic had come to a halt. U.S. Highway 83 between Bismarck and Minot was also closed by the North Dakota Transportation Department as of Sunday night, as U.S. Highways 2, 52 and 281 because of snow, ice and "near zero visibility".

Almost all of I-94 from Dickinson to Fargo remains closed.

Snow, freezing rain and up to 50 mile an hour winds continued into Monday in the Great Plains, as the harsh winter weather forced airport closings, power outages, and shut off long stretches of highway in the Dakotas.

Gust's advice to holiday travelers: 'Stay put'. "Monday afternoon, winds should gradually wind down". "Then it's dig-out time".

As of early Monday morning, Bismarck has received more than 12 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service, while Underwood, North Dakota, got 18 inches of snow, the Weather Channel reported.

Motorists are encouraged to check conditions at safetravelusa.com/sd or by dialing 5-1-1 before heading out.