Thousands in dark in blizzard’s wake
At least 600 travelers were still stranded Tuesday at community shelters in central Nebraska’s Dawson County, said emergency manager Brian Woldt. “At times they get grouchy. They’re wanting to get down the road, but for the most part they’re doing fine,” Woldt said. Colorado and Kansas had reopened more than 400 miles of eastbound I-70 between Denver and Salina, Kan., after two days. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BISMARCK, N.D. – Crews on Tuesday gradually reopened major highways that had been closed by the first blizzard of the season on the Plains, stranding post-Thanksgiving travelers. Thousands of people remained without electricity. Five deaths were blamed on slippery roads in Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. A sixth person was killed by a tornado that the huge storm system spun off in Arkansas. Remnants of the system headed over the upper Great Lakes on Tuesday after the storm dumped snow as far south as the Texas Panhandle. The storm left as much as 20 inches of snow at Kennebec, S.D., while Chamberlain, S.D., was choked by drifts up to 8 feet high. Utility officials estimated that 50,000 customers were blacked out across eastern South Dakota on Tuesday, and many communities in North Dakota had no electricity. Nebraska also had scattered outages. The morning’s low at Grand Forks, N.D., was 14 degrees. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds said Tuesday that electricity might not be restored to some areas for a few days as snowdrifts blocked roads and prevented utility crews from finding all the damaged lines. Power companies in North Dakota said it could take days to restore power. It was the worst storm in eastern and central South Dakota in nearly a decade, Rounds said. Utility crews were out early Tuesday working to restore electricity in northwestern Minnesota. “Bless ’em; they’re just the cavalry,” said Chris Kling, a spokeswoman for Otter Tail Power Co. Interstate 94 was closed overnight for about 100 miles across eastern North Dakota from Fargo to Jamestown, but the Highway Patrol reopened it Tuesday morning. I-29 also was reopened from Fargo south to the South Dakota line, and South Dakota authorities said their section would reopen by midday. South Dakota officials said traffic also would be restored on I-90, which had been closed for nearly 200 miles across the state. In Nebraska, I-80 was reopened along a 200-mile stretch, the state road department said.