Powerful storm to bring snow, ice to the Dakotas
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A powerful storm that pummeled much of the West is promising to bring its chaotic mix of snow, sleet and ice to much of the Dakotas on Thanksgiving Day.
The system closed roads and delayed flights from Anchorage to Salt Lake City on some of the busiest travel days of the year.
Meteorologists warned residents in the Dakotas to expect a range of messy wintery weather, from freezing drizzle in the eastern two-thirds of South Dakota to a possible blizzard in eastern North Dakota.
"Like the Boy Scouts, you've got to be prepared for a North Dakota winter or you're asking for your own problems," said Gerald Miller, 52, who plowed roads on his farm just east of Bismarck on Wednesday.
Miller has spent every winter of his life in North Dakota except for one in 2003 when he served in Iraq with the National Guard. "After Iraq, I promised I'd never complain about the weather in North Dakota again," he said.
Blowing snow was likely to cause problems for holiday travelers even in areas not expected to get significant amounts.
"We have snow on the ground in many areas, and any snow on top of that will combine for the potential to blow around, reduce visibility and drift, and cause problems for people trying to drive," meteorologist Jeff Savadel said.
State officials in both Dakotas issued statements urging people to be cautious.
In South Dakota, truckers carefully navigated the icy roads, with snow expected later in the day.
"It's getting bad," said Bob Grape, who had stopped at a gas station in Sioux Falls on his way north. Grape said he would keep moving through the weather unless it got significantly worse.