Winter storm could bring several inches of snow

Posted at 11:52 AM, Dec 29, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A strong winter storm began making its way across the Upper Midwest Tuesday, creating treacherous travel conditions and spurring warnings urging people to stay off the roads.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

By Tuesday morning, snow was so heavy in western Nebraska that Interstates 80 and 76 were closed in both directions after several accidents. Police in Omaha reported several accidents blamed on slick roads. Some parts of Nebraska had already seen 3 inches of snow by shortly after dawn.

Heavy snowfall of up to 10 inches, and perhaps more in some spots, was forecast in parts of Iowa, where the state Department of Transportation urged people to delay travel plans.

National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Vachalek told the Des Moines Register that the storm could be especially concerning for drivers.

"The wet, heavy snow is very slippery ... that could cause more crashes and people need to be aware of that," Vachalek said.

AccuWeather said parts of southeast Nebraska, northeast Kansas, northern Missouri and southern Iowa could see ice accumulations of up to a quarter of an inch, which could weigh down power lines and branches and cause power outages.

In Topeka, morning snow was expected to give way to freezing rain before eventually becoming rain.

In the Kansas City area, light snow on Tuesday morning resulted in several accidents. Among them were several rollover wrecks on the Kansas side of the metropolitan area.