SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Schools called off classes and road crews warned of hazardous conditions Monday as a snowstorm crawled across the northern Plains, while states farther south worked to recover from a weekend of icy weather and deadly flooding.
Snow made for a messy, slow commute in Minneapolis, while dozens of schools closed for the day because of snow in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota. Up to a foot of snow was expected in eastern South Dakota and southwest Minnesota, while smaller amounts were forecast from Nebraska to Wisconsin through Tuesday.
By early Monday evening, about 4 inches of snow had fallen at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the National Weather Service said. In southwestern Minnesota, about 6 inches of snow had fallen in Luverne, Pipestone and Worthington and 5 inches in Marshall. Menno, in southeastern South Dakota, reported 7 inches. Sioux Center, in northwestern Iowa, had 8 inches as of mid-afternoon.
Drivers across the region were dealing with slick, snow-packed roads and reduced visibility, said Todd Heitkamp, a meteorologist with the weather service in Sioux Falls, where police reported more than 70 accidents by midday. The Minnesota State Patrol reported nearly 250 crashes and spinouts in the Twin Cities Monday morning.
"If people don't need to be traveling, they shouldn't be," Heitkamp said. "Let the road crews do their jobs."
Sioux Falls was readying its snow clearing equipment, but the steady snowfall was expected to keep crews from plowing the city's residential neighborhoods until Tuesday. The weather also prompted Northern State University in Aberdeen, about 200 miles northeast, to cancel a women's basketball game set for Monday night.
Farther south, states were recovering after heavy rain and freezing rain over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Search crews in Texas found a body Monday in the submerged car of a woman who was swept off a bridge by floodwaters three days earlier near Fort Worth. Eight people died from the flooding in Texas over the past few days.
Teams also were working to restore power to tens of thousands of people in Oklahoma, where the governor issued a statewide disaster declaration after an ice storm knocked out power to about 150,000 utility customers over the weekend.
In Missouri, heavy rains have pushed the Mississippi River to near flood levels near St. Louis, though no damage has been reported. Flood warnings also persist in Arkansas.