Midwest Blizzard: Watch Video Of Deadly Snowstorm Here [VIDEO]
The past year has been marked with a number of natural disasters in North America from the wildfires in Colorado to the destructive winds and waters of Hurricane Sandy that hit the Eastern seaboard. As 2012 comes to an end, it seems as if mother nature has time for another major storm. This time, it's a fierce blizzard known as Winter Storm Draco in the Upper Midwest that is powerful enough to threaten the power of tens of thousands of homes. Schools from Nebraska to southern Wisconsin all announced closures on Thursday.
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Severe weather conditions have already claimed the life of one in a deadly 30-car pileup on the I-35 near Fort Dodge in Iowa. Not only are areas bracing for a foot of wet and heavy snow, but blistering 50 mph winds will cause serious wind chill and a great reduction of visibility.
In Omaha, Nebraska, responders and utility crews are racing against time in an attempt to restore power for 38,000 customers during near whiteout conditions. The Omaha utility urged the customers to prepare for slow going as the blizzard conditions refuse to weaken.
The same can be said in neighboring state Iowa as more than 30,000 customers lost power during the storm. What's more, I-80 was closed near the town of Des Moines, an area that had lost power after a significant blow from the storm.
Sgt. Scott Bright of the Iowa State Patrol said, "When the winds start to blow you can see about 5 feet in front of your vehicle. We've had major issues all over the place. We got around 10 to 12 inches throughout the state and it's a wet snow. We have around an inch of ice on our roadways."
Bright adds, "It seems people are seeing the sun and venturing out, but it's not going to get hot enough to melt the ice from the roadways." He also adds that the Department of Transportation workers are having a difficult time. "...they're plowing the roadways, but we're having 50 mph wind gusts that just blows the snow right back."
Nearly a 100 accidents have been reported to the Iowa police by Wednesday morning.
As the blizzard Draco grows stronger, weather warnings were up Thursday for areas in Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin as well as virtually the entire state of Iowa. Winter storm warnings will extend further into Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana.
Residents of the Northeast should brace themselves - the storm is expected to slide over New England by Friday.
So how fierce is this storm? Check out the footage of the Draco in Lakin, KS, and Omaha, NE, below:
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