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Winter weather disrupts travel in Plains, East

Sun., Dec. 27, 2009

OMAHA, Neb. – Drifting snow and cold rain that have plagued much of the country for days stranded drivers and airline passengers Saturday trying to get home after Christmas.

Storms from Texas to the Upper Midwest that dumped 23.9 inches of snow in Grand Forks, N.D., and 18 inches near Norfolk, Neb., began subsiding, but blowing and drifting snow hampered visibility in many areas.

Several motorists abandoned their vehicles on snow-covered roads in northeast Nebraska. Ten to 20 vehicles were stuck near Norfolk, but state troopers do not believe any motorists were stranded.

Higher temperatures and rains in the East began melting and washing away last week’s record-setting snowfalls, threatening the region with flooding.

A woman and her teenage daughter in Middletown, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, were rescued from a rain-swollen creek after their SUV went off the road Saturday. Rescue workers found the 14-year-old clinging to a log; her mother was trapped in the vehicle.

Authorities in southeast Missouri were searching for a woman who washed away in a ditch on Christmas Eve as heavy rains showered the region.

In Chicago, one of the nation’s busiest travel hubs, snow and ice along with rain on the East Coast canceled or delayed more than 450 flights.

Transportation officials closed a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 70 between Goodland, Kan., and Burlington, Colo. Officials had closed interstate highways in Nebraska, the Dakotas and Wyoming, but many were reopening Saturday.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln marching band canceled its bus trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. The band had been scheduled to perform Wednesday.


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