'Historic' Winter Storm Wesley threatens 200M in the Midwest

A map showing warnings watches advisories and alerts

Blizzard conditions that have made travel treacherous and closed interstates and schools in the Upper Midwest were expected to wind down leaving unseasonably cold temperatures through the weekend.

Still, meteorologists and safety officials warned of possible risky road conditions the next two days.

Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in 64 counties and three tribal nations, authorizing the National Guard to provide emergency aid to those dealing with the storm or flooding, including residents in Oslo where the Red River continued to rise.

Local media reported dozens of crashes and cars in ditches as several major highways and roads were shut down in parts of the U.S. Plains and Midwest.

The storm could bring all-time low-pressure records for the month of April to parts of the plains - but it's not yet clear whether the storm is strong enough to be deemed a "bomb cyclone", according to the Weather Channel report. Two weeks after the flooding, 10 states - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin - had groundwater threatened by bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.

"It is a bomb cyclone, the second we've had", said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the weather service's Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

In Denver, several airlines have canceled flights, and passengers are "strongly encouraged" to check in with airlines to confirm that their flights are still scheduled to fly, the Denver International Airport said in an alert on its website.

"If we have a freeze-and-thaw cycle for a couple of different days, it may create some more pothole issues", Gutknecht said.

Wind gusts upwards of 100 miles per hour were reported Wednesday in eastern Colorado, Hurley said.

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But the April storm just missed Colorado's capital city and Twitter was filled with condemnations of meteorologists on Thursday.

Hundreds of schools canceled classes in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, where the governor closed state offices in much of the state for a second day Thursday because of unsafe road conditions.

Middle America is facing another bomb cyclone this week with strong winds, heavy snow and ice and potential flooding.

The latest storm's impacts are likely to be similar to last month's storm, Roth said.

"Hopefully this time it will be a slow snowmelt", Roth said.

Some areas of western Minnesota and southeast South Dakota could see as much as 30 inches (76 cm) of snow.

More than 30,000 homes and businesses were without power in Minnesota, 14,200 in Iowa and 22,700 in MI by midday on Thursday, according to PowerOutages.us, a website that tracks power outages.

The system also created hazardous wildfire conditions in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. In southern New Mexico, the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range closed Wednesday because of the high winds.

Forecasters said that the storm will spread snow over the Central and Northern Plains on Wednesday. "Once the storm is done and things start to dry out a bit, we will get back to patching".

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