Winter storms clobber parts of Pacific Northwest, California and Midwest

Winter weather continued wreaking havoc around much of the nation during the weekend.

In the Pacific Northwest, an unusual snow dump forced the cancellation of more than 200 flights in Seattle and Portland but also had residents celebrating with skis and sleds after more than a foot of snow fell in some areas in a region more accustomed to rain.

In California, more than 120 visitors and staff members were rescued Thursday in a Sierra Nevada resort after being trapped by up to seven feet of snow. As many as 50 housing structures were damaged near Yosemite National Park by toppled trees during a snowstorm. The storm displaced 160 employees who provide food, lodging and other services to park visitors.

In the Midwest, more than 148,000 customers lost power in western Michigan following days of freezing rain. The Consumers Energy utility said power would be restored by late Sunday. New Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for the Grand Rapids area.

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The Pacific Northwest snowstorm also left nearly 50,000 people in eastern Washington without electricity. In the central part of the state, snow drifts blocked roads and forced the closure of U.S. 2 and Interstate 90, in addition to causing multiple car crashes.

"Snow conditions are worsening minute to minute, so don't expect travel conditions to improve," the Grant County, Wash., sheriff's office wrote.

A worker walks across a snow-covered parking lot, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. (Associated Press)

A worker walks across a snow-covered parking lot, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. (Associated Press)

In Portland, a tanker truck blocked a ramp for hours after sliding into a vehicle on an interchange between Interstates 5 and 84.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency over the storm. "This is a perfect morning to bundle up and play in the snow, but stay off the roads if possible," he tweeted Saturday.

Around 180 people spent the night in an emergency shelter set up in Seattle Center and officials on Saturday went out to get homeless residents to safety. A 59-year-old man died Thursday from exposure to frigid temperatures at a Seattle light rail station.

Several hundred people take part in a public snowball fight, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Wright Park in Tacoma, Wash. (Associated Press)

Several hundred people take part in a public snowball fight, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Wright Park in Tacoma, Wash. (Associated Press)

Others took advantage of the snowfall. Hundreds of people in Tacoma turned out for a snowball fight in a park after someone suggested it on Facebook.

More snowfall is expected in the region early this week.

In Tualatin, Ore., resident Autumn Sang was mobbed during a visit to a grocery store to stock up on supplies. She wasn’t fazed by the forecast of more snow on its way.

"I love it. I'm excited about it," she said of the snow. "I think that Portlanders, most of them are city people and they come from a lot of different places, so they're not so used to it. It's like, 'Use your brain! If you don't have to go out, don't go out.'"

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In Nevada, residents in the Reno-Tahoe area were expecting strong winds Saturday evening but less snow than had been predicted earlier. But most of the heavy snowfall was expected to end by Sunday morning, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

But more snow was possible for the region by midweek, the report said.

In Ionia County, Mich., local officials declared a state of emergency after flood conditions created an ice jam in the Grand River. Bridges in the city were closed Friday as officials planned to determine when they could be reopened, MLive.com reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.