Winter storm brings fierce winds

A winter storm that moved across several Midwestern states Monday brought fierce winds and light snow that was easily blown around, leaving travelers stranded and closing some schools and businesses.

Vermillion schools remained closed Monday as the region was greeted that morning with wind gusts and blowing snow that made travel treacherous.

There were times Monday afternoon when a combination of wind and freshly falling snow greatly reduced visibility even within Vermillion's city limits.

The weather was so bad in northeastern North Dakota that Grafton construction company owner Jack Burns decided not to even leave his house.

"It wasn't worth it," he said. "We definitely can work outside in the cold, but you can't work outside in the wind. We pretty much have to wait until this blows over."

Heavy snowfall was not expected, Monday, but strong winds were blowing around what was falling — or had already fallen in the last several days — in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, creating whiteout conditions in some places. Ice buildup on power lines also was a problem in some areas.

Crews in the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa were continuing efforts to restore electricity to about 13,000 people, mostly in rural areas.

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