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Deadly blizzards hammer the U.S.

Andrea Stockton, staff writer
December 20, 2011 — A major storm tracking across the central U.S. has had a deadly impact in some areas.

Whiteout conditions reduce visibility to near-zero
Whiteout conditions reduce visibility to near-zero

Snow and strong winds have made for treacherous and next to impossible driving conditions in the central U.S. The snowstorm pushed into the region on Monday resulting in icy roads and near zero visibility.

Hotels were filling up quickly along major roadways from eastern New Mexico to Kansas as conditions deteriorated. Blizzard conditions also forced the closure of some major routes in northern Texas Monday night.

Officials reported several rescue calls from drivers stuck on rural roads. The bad weather is also being blamed for six deaths.

Authorities say four people were killed in New Mexico when their vehicle collided with a pick-up truck and two were killed in Colorado where a van lost control on an icy roadway.

Motorists forced to pull off the roads as conditions deteriorated
Motorists forced to pull off the roads as conditions deteriorated

By the early morning hours on Tuesday, around 25 cm of snow had already fallen in parts of New Mexico and Kansas. Most of the heaviest snowfall with this system has ended, but an additional five to ten centimetres is possible through Tuesday.

Strong winds with gusts over 50 km/h will also cause blowing and drifting snow and whiteout conditions once again.

Officials warn that travel through the region may be extremely difficult, if not impossible for parts of the day.

While the onset of wintery weather is impacting holiday travel and frustrating some drivers, farmers in the area are grateful for the snow.

Areas in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas have been dealing with a drought since the summer of 2010 and the storm is bringing much needed moisture to the region.

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