Upper Midwest residents wait out blizzard at end of storm

January 18, 2020 GMT

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Most residents in the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota were spending Saturday indoors while high winds at the back of a powerful winter storm created blowing snow that shut down highways, closed businesses and postponed events.

A blizzard warning was in effect until Saturday evening for the eastern Dakotas, western Minnesota and western Iowa. While snowfall totals in most areas were below 5 inches, according to the National Weather Service, wind gusts up to 45 to 55 mph were reducing visibility to near-zero and make travel impossible.

Officials in South Dakota shut down most of Intestate 29 and a 72-mile portion of Interstate 90 Friday night. Both highways were open Saturday afternoon, although no traffic was advised on those roads. Most of I-29 in North Dakota and a 200-mile stretch of I-94 remained closed.

A winter storm warning was in place from central and eastern Minnesota into west central Wisconsin. Minneapolis received between 4 and 7 inches of snow, which was less than expected.

In addition, falling temperatures into the single digits above and below zero was expected to create icy roads throughout the weekend in the Upper Midwest and lead to wind chills in the 30- to 40-below range.