3 dead, 70K without power after southern states slammed by snowstorm

The snowstorm that pummeled southern states during the weekend has been blamed for at least three deaths in North Carolina and leaving nearly 70,000 in the dark, as residents prepare to face dangerous roads and plunging temperatures on Tuesday. North Carolina faced numerous car crashes, power outages and canceled flights, as more than 20 inches fell in western parts of … Continue reading “3 dead, 70K without power after southern states slammed by snowstorm”

The snowstorm that pummeled southern states during the weekend has been blamed for at least three deaths in North Carolina and leaving nearly 70,000 in the dark, as residents prepare to face dangerous roads and plunging temperatures on Tuesday.

North Carolina faced numerous car crashes, power outages and canceled flights, as more than 20 inches fell in western parts of the state. Nearly 70,000 were without power as of early Tuesday morning, including outages in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee, according to AccuWeather.com.

Due to the icy roads hazard, schools in Virginia and North Carolina remained closed for a second day, while Georgia announced a late start for state government workers.

"We need to stay vigilant. We're not out of the woods yet," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday. "This storm dropped staggering amounts of snow, ice and rain across our state. A year's worth of snowfall or more fell in some places in little more than a day."

The Highway Patrol responded to more than 670 collisions and nearly 1,600 calls for services since the storm began.

Brett Anderson, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist also warned of black ice on the roads.

"Melting that occurs during the day will lead to wet streets and sidewalks," Anderson said. "Where this water does not dry off or is not treated with ice-melting compounds, a thin sheet of ice, known as black ice, is likely to form," Anderson said.

In Charlotte, police shut down a street Monday after reports of ice falling from the Duke Energy Center. And an overturned truck full of pigs added to traffic delays in the western part of that state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

As southeastern winter storm fades, canceled flights and icy roads remain

After a record-setting weekend of snow walloped the southeast, commuters are facing canceled flights and icy roads Monday, while thousands are still without power.

The first winter storm of the season is fading but a warning remains in effect for Virginia, where 11 inches of snow has so far fallen in Roanoke — the city’s fourth highest December total on record.Hundreds of flights out of Richmond, Virginia, as well as Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, were canceled Sunday. Airlines at each airport hope to resume normal operations late Monday.

    Richmond International Airport said on Twitter it had 111 canceled flights Sunday night and 36 Monday. Raleigh-Durham International Airport had 245 flights canceled Sunday evening, according to the airport’s website. Charlotte Douglas International Airport had more than 1,000 flights canceled Sunday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.Thousands of customers in the Appalachian region were still without power Sunday night, including 146,000 in North Carolina. Power outages also are affecting 81,000 in Virginia, 58,000 in South Carolina and about 10,000 in Tennessee. Read MoreCNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said the storm is pulling away from the East Coast, but snow showers could remain until mid-afternoon Monday. After that, it’ll be dry and cold through Tuesday, he said.The Appalachian region of the country received up to 24 inches of snow over the weekend, Javaheri said. “They kind of got the bull’s eye of the storm,” he said.With the storm leaving, some areas will have lingering snow and freeze over, so it will be hard to travel, Javaheri said. Temperatures in the southeast and Appalachians will be 5-10 degrees below average on Monday and Tuesday mornings, he said.

    Weather-related death reported in North Carolina

    One weather-related death was reported in North Carolina as a result of the snowstorm.Police in Matthews, about 12 miles south of Charlotte, said a tree fell on a vehicle causing it to drive through the front lawn of a church until it hit the front of the building. The driver died and the passenger was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said.The state had 500 vehicle accidents in an 11-hour period, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. One tractor-trailer ran off the road and into a river. “We’ve seen too many collisions,” Cooper said. “From Charlotte across central North Carolina, the biggest concern now is ice making roads even more dangerous.”In Durham County, residents typically get about 6 inches of snow over an entire year. But on Sunday morning, they woke up to see 6 inches of snow on the ground. “The roads in Durham are treacherous and not safe for driving,” the Durham County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.A man tries to walk through blowing snow Sunday in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The Durham Sheriff’s Office also tweeted Sunday that drivers should be prepared for the unpredictable. “Another example of the unpredictable happening while driving in #winterweather. A chunk of ice fell from an overpass and cracked a deputy’s windshield. Thankfully he was ok. If you can’t stay home, stay alert. #ncwx #DurhamWeather,” the tweet read.

    Another example of the unpredictable happening while driving in #winterweather. A chunk of ice fell from an overpass and cracked a deputy's windshield. Thankfully he was ok. If you can't stay home, stay alert. #ncwx #DurhamWeather pic.twitter.com/J35cuWyVwb

    — Durham Sheriff (@DurhamSheriff) December 9, 2018

    Even before the storm hit, Cooper declared a statewide emergency. Grocery store shelves were cleared of bread, milk and other staples.Cooper asked residents to check on vulnerable loved ones and the elderly, if possible. He said 11 emergency shelters have opened across the state.North Carolina Highway Patrol said anyone who must drive should leave twice as much following space as normal behind the next car, in case that vehicle loses control.

    Driving conditions remain hazardous. If you do not have to leave your home, please do not. If you must leave, be sure to slow down, increase following distances, have emergency supplies on hand and expect delays. #wintersafety #winterstorm pic.twitter.com/QYKZbJQU46

    — NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) December 9, 2018

    Virginia extends winter storm warning

    A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Virginia until to 2 p.m. Monday, said CNN meteorologist Gene Norman. Virginia’s western and central areas were also hit with snow. The city of Richmond and surrounding areas received about 9 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia. Areas south of Richmond got 6 to 8 inches of snow, Norman said. A snowplow is followed closely by cars as it clears US 301 in Hanover County, Virginia, on Sunday.Like its neighboring states to the south, Virginia also saw power outages for thousands, and dozens of vehicle crashes. As of Sunday, there were more than 15,000 customers without power in the western part of the state, according to Appalachian Power. In the Richmond area, Dominion Energy said there were more than 13,000 without power. Virginia State Police reported nearly 60 crashes in Virginia because of the snow, with most crashes in the agency’s Richmond division. “The majority of the crashes involve only damage to vehicles. No traffic fatalities have been reported at this time,” Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller told CNN affiliate WTVR. Virginia Department of Transportation officials told WTVR Sunday that road crews were working 12-hour shifts until all roads were passable. Richmond International Airport reported Sunday that nearly 100 flights had been canceled, WTVR reported. One of those flights, a United Airlines flight to Denver, had passengers on the runway for hours. WTVR reported that the flight was supposed to leave at 8 a.m. Sunday, but passengers were stuck on the runway until 11 a.m. after officials said the weather worsened. After deboarding and reboarding the plane, passengers sat on the runway again for four more hours until they returned to the gate at 5 p.m. when the flight was officially canceled, WTVR reports. United officials apologized for the inconvenience.

    ‘Ice is becoming a big problem’ in South Carolina

    In South Carolina, a state known for palmettos rather than freezing rain, ice-covered roads were making driving conditions perilous.

    It's never a good idea to be out on the roadways in winter weather, but when snow switches to nothing but ice, even a 4×4 will struggle. pic.twitter.com/MDwCpEz3Z7

    — Trooper Bill SCHP (@SCHP_Troop3) December 9, 2018

    The large Greenville-Spartanburg area received between 2 inches and more than a foot of snow, NWS reported Sunday.”Ice is becoming a big problem. Please stay off the roads,” Greenville County Emergency Management pleaded.

      The local National Weather Service office had to adjust its forecast map Sunday after it became clear more ice was expected near Interstate 85. “We have increased our ice (accumulation) forecast quite a bit along the I-85 corridor,” the NWS Greenville-Spartanburg office said.

1 weather-related death reported in North Carolina amid snow storm

One weather-related death has been reported in North Carolina as a result of this weekend’s snowstorm.

Police in Matthews, about 12 miles south of Charlotte, said a tree fell on a vehicle. This led the vehicle to drive through the front lawn of a church until it hit the front of the building. The driver died and the passenger was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said. A nasty mix of snow and ice gripped the Southeast this weekend, leading to treacherous driving conditions, canceled flights and thousands of people stranded at home.

    “Over 20 million people are under winter weather alerts, over 8 million people are under a flash flood threat, and over 9 million people are under wind advisories,” CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said Sunday.More than 12 inches of snow fell Sunday in the southern and central Appalachians, the National Weather Service said. The area with the highest snowfall total was Whitetop, Virginia, at the border of North Carolina, which had 2 feet of snow, according to CNN meteorologist Gene Norman. Read MoreRaleigh-Durham International Airport received about 7 inches of snow Sunday, according to CNN affiliate WTVD, which was the most snow at the airport since 2002. Charlotte also saw record-setting snowfall totals. With 2.7 inches, the city had its snowiest December since 1997, according to CNN affiliate WSOC-TV.Snowfall could total 12 to 20 inches over the Appalachians and into the Carolinas by Monday, when the storm is expected to move off the coast, the NWS said. “Snowfall amounts in some locations will likely exceed a foot and result in several days of difficult or impossible travel, extended power outages, and downed trees,” the agency said.The storm already has knocked out power for more than 546,000 customers in the Southeast.The bulk of the outages are in North Carolina, where 244,807 customers are in the dark. In South Carolina, more than 225,600 customers have lost power. And Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia each had about 20,000 and 30,000 customers without electricity. A snow-covered car sits outside a home Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina.Those hoping to escape the storm may be out of luck. More than 1,100 Sunday flights into and out of North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport were canceled, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. More than half the Sunday flights at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Piedmont Triad International Airport were also called off.

    Virginia extends winter storm warning

    A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Virginia until to 2 p.m. Monday, Norman said. Virginia’s western and central areas were also hit with snow. The city of Richmond and surrounding areas received about 9 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia. Areas south of Richmond got 6 to 8 inches of snow, Norman said. Like it’s neighboring states to the south, Virginia also saw power outages for thousands, and dozens of vehicle crashes. As of Sunday, there were more than 15,000 customers without power in the western part of the state, according to Appalachian Power. In the Richmond area, Dominion Energy said there were more than 13,000 without power. A snowplow is followed closely by cars as it clears US 301 in Hanover County, Virginia, on Sunday.Virginia State Police reported nearly 60 crashes in Virginia because of the snow, with most crashes in the agency’s Richmond division. “The majority of the crashes involve only damage to vehicles. No traffic fatalities have been reported at this time,” Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller told CNN affiliate WTVR. Virginia Department of Transportation officials told WTVR Sunday that road crews were working 12-hour shifts until all roads were passable. Richmond International Airport reported Sunday that nearly 100 flights had been canceled, WTVR reported. One of those flights, a United Airlines flight to Denver, had passengers on the runway for hours. WTVR reported that the flight was supposed to leave at 8 a.m. Sunday, but passengers were stuck on the runway until 11 a.m. after officials said the weather worsened. After deboarding and reboarding the plane, passengers sat on the runway again for four more hours until they returned to the gate at 5 p.m. when the flight was officially canceled, WTVR reports. United officials apologized for the inconvenience.

    North Carolina has 500 car wrecks in 11 hours

    In Durham County, residents typically get about 6 inches of snow over an entire year. But on Sunday morning, they woke up to see 6 inches of snow on the ground. “The roads in Durham are treacherous and not safe for driving,” the Durham County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.

    All that heavy wet #snow is starting to weigh #powerlines and tree branches down. Here on the 2800 block of Beck Rd a power pole has broken. Remember when the power goes out to safely use alternative heating and lighting sources. #NCWx #DurhamWeather #WinterStorm #WinterSafety pic.twitter.com/aikCgH3htM

    — Durham Sheriff (@DurhamSheriff) December 9, 2018

    Authorities responded to more than 500 car crashes between midnight and 11 a.m. Sunday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. One tractor-trailer ran off the road and into a river. “We’ve seen too many collisions,” Cooper said. “From Charlotte across central North Carolina, the biggest concern now is ice making roads even more dangerous.”A man tries to walk through blowing snow Sunday in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Even before the storm hit, Cooper declared a statewide emergency. Grocery store shelves were cleared of bread, milk and other staples.Cooper asked residents to check on vulnerable loved ones and the elderly, if possible. He said 11 emergency shelters have opened across the state.North Carolina Highway Patrol said anyone who must drive should leave twice as much following space as normal behind the next car, in case that vehicle loses control.

    Driving conditions remain hazardous. If you do not have to leave your home, please do not. If you must leave, be sure to slow down, increase following distances, have emergency supplies on hand and expect delays. #wintersafety #winterstorm pic.twitter.com/QYKZbJQU46

    — NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) December 9, 2018

    ‘Ice is becoming a big problem’ in South Carolina

    In South Carolina, a state known for palmettos rather than freezing rain, ice-covered roads were making driving conditions perilous.

    It's never a good idea to be out on the roadways in winter weather, but when snow switches to nothing but ice, even a 4×4 will struggle. pic.twitter.com/MDwCpEz3Z7

    — Trooper Bill SCHP (@SCHP_Troop3) December 9, 2018

    The Greenville-Spartanburg area received between 2 inches and more than a foot of snow, NWS reported Sunday.”Ice is becoming a big problem. Please stay off the roads,” Greenville County Emergency Management pleaded. The local National Weather Service office had to adjust its forecast map Sunday after it became clear more ice was expected near Interstate 85. “We have increased our ice (accumulation) forecast quite a bit along the I-85 corridor,” the NWS Greenville-Spartanburg office said.

    The storm left a trail of misery in Texas

    Before striking the Southeast, the moisture-heavy storm walloped Texas, causing flash flooding along the southern edge of the state and snow and ice in the north.As the moisture moved east, it collided with a high-pressure system over the Ohio Valley that was funneling cold air into the region.In Lubbock, Texas Tech University rescheduled all Saturday final exams for Sunday.

    snow making my univ even more beautiful pic.twitter.com/WOLJU5vSNC

    — Kinsey Priesmeyer (@kpriesmeyer_) December 8, 2018

    Parts of Lubbock were buried under 10 inches of snow, 2 inches more than the city usually gets in a whole year.”They crushed their yearly average in 24 hours,” CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said.

    More flight cancellations to come

    Grounded airline passengers might remain stuck Monday as more flights get canceled.

      The Charlotte airport said it expects cancellations through Monday morning, mostly involving small, regional planes.American Airlines, whose second-largest hub is in Charlotte, has canceled 1,100 flights for Sunday. It’s not clear when those passengers will be able to get on board, since another 320 flights scheduled for Monday already have been nixed.

1 dead, 310K without power after powerful winter storm slams Southeast: report

A motorist in North Carolina was killed and about 310,000 were left without power after a powerful winter storm ripped through the Southeast over the weekend dropping a foot of snow in some areas, reports said.

Large swaths of North Carolina, southern West Virginia and Virginia remain under a winter storm warning, Reuters reported. The report said about two inches of snow is expected.

The massive storm was also blamed for the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Police in North Carolina and Virginia said they’d responded to hundreds of snow-related traffic accidents as of Sunday afternoon, as cars, trucks and tractor-trailers all struggled with the snow and ice.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper strongly urged residents to stay off the roads Sunday, asking drivers not to put lives of first responders needlessly at risk. Cooper said emergency crews, including the National Guard, worked overnight to clear traffic accidents on major roadways.

Five members of a dive team searched the Neuse River in Kinston, North Carolina, for a missing truck driver Sunday after a tractor-trailer ran off a road and into the river, WRAL-TV reported. Police just outside of Charlotte said a driver died when a tree fell on a moving vehicle.

Video

Officials warned residents to prepare emergency kits and stay off roads in impacted areas. Several schools districts in North Carolina and Virginia announced they’ll be closed Monday.

“Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Winter storm slams South with heavy snow, power outages as over 1,000 flights canceled out of Charlotte

A storm system that's bringing heavy snow and freezing rain across a large section of the South is leaving thousands without power Sunday as wintry precipitation blasts the region.

Over 140,000 customers in North Carolina are without power as of 9 a.m. ET Sunday as snow and freezing precipitation continue to fall, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

The majority of the power outages are in North Carolina, where the highest amounts of snowfall are expected to fall. The National Weather Service said that more than a foot of snow is possible from North Carolina into south-central Virginia.

"Travel will be severely affected across much of these areas, and some power outages are likely," the NWS said in its advisory.

A Duke Energy crew works to restore power in Raleigh, N.C,. as snow continues to fall Sunday morning, Dec. 9, 2018. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

North Carolina Emergency Management said that the threat of ice and freezing rain increased Sunday, especially along the Interstate 85 corridor. There is now a "high probability" of widespread power outages.

In the western part of North Carolina, officials told FOX Carolina that some areas had been 14 to 15 inches of snow, creating “treacherous" travel and leaving crews unable to get to some areas.

Governors and local officials in several states declared emergencies ahead of the storm crossing several Southern states and poised to hit particularly hard in portions of North Carolina and Virginia.

A motorist needed help after at least six inches of snow fell across parts of North Carolina on Sunday. (Durham County Sheriff’s Office)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday that residents in some parts of the state should be ready for a lengthy fight with the storm.

"We're preparing for days of impact, not hours," Cooper said, urging caution. "This weekend isn't the time to head out to see the winter wonderland. Stay safe where you are. Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk."

MIGRANT MAN DROWNS IN CALIFORNIA CANAL AFTER ILLEGALLY CROSSING US-MEXICO BORDER DURING STORM, OFFICIALS SAY

Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the sixth busiest airport in the country, said American Airlines would reduce its operations starting Saturday evening and scattered cancellations are expected through Monday morning.

The storm was expected to bring up to a foot of snow in parts of North Carolina and Virginia. (Durham County Sheriff’s Office)

Over 1,000 flights were canceled as of Sunday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

"Travelers are encouraged to frequently check with their air carrier for any cancellations or delays before coming to the airport," the airport said.

Officials have warned residents to prepare emergency kits and staff off roads in impacted areas.

"Roads are slick and driving is not something you want to attempt this morning," the Durham County Sheriff's Office said. "Keep roads clear for plows and emergency vehicles."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Blizzard stymies travel across Midwest, as hundreds of flights canceled and ‘thundersnow’ reported

The first major winter storm of the season targeting the Midwest at the end of the busy Thanksgiving weekend has created travel headaches that stretched into Monday, with hundreds of flights grounded and major highways closed.

The National Weather Service said the storm has dropped over a foot of snow from parts of the Mississippi Valley into the greater Chicago area, where heavy snow was beginning to taper off as daylight broke.

The storm was strong enough to cause "thundersnow" in some areas, which prompted a warning from the NWS' Chicago office.

"…just because it is snowing, does not diminish the dangers from lightning," the agency said. "Remember, if you're close enough to hear thunder or see lightning, you should seek shelter indoors! Shoveling or snow blowing can wait!"

The storm was also bringing wind gusts up to 50 mph throughout northern Illinois, leading to whiteout conditions on area highways. The strong winds also caused power outages for tens of thousands of people across the Chicago area, FOX32 reported.

For travelers flying out of Chicago's two main airports, the winter storm put their plans on hold. As of Monday morning, over 800 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport, while Midway International Airport reported about 70 flights had been canceled, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.

"Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time and if all possible, do not travel if you don't have to," said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, the executive director of the Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Crews de-ice an American Airlines plane at O’Hare International Airport on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Noreen Nasir)

One Chicago native trying to fly to Orlando, Florida, chided himself for not heeding the forecast.

"I knew it was right around the corner, and behold I stayed that one extra day and paid the price. So I was able to spend the evening here at beautiful O'Hare and had plenty of company," Mark McCoy told the Associated Press.

"It's all part of the Thanksgiving travel experience," he added.

A commuter walks to a bus stop as snow falls, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Further west in Kansas City, which got the brunt of the storm on Sunday, officials warned travelers that morning flights out of Kansas City International Airport were facing cancellations due to aircraft not being able to get in.

The airport was forced to close for several hours due to low visibility and heavy snow, as maintenance crews had to clear the runway.

Bridget Fortner, who was trying to get to Newark, New Jersey with her family had to connect through Chicago and had their original flight canceled.

"It's gonna be a long day," she told FOX4.

MIDWEST SNOWSTORM CANCELS HUNDREDS OF FLIGHTS AS HOLIDAY WEEKEND WINDS DOWN

Drivers trying to get around the region did not have any better luck.

This Nov. 25, 2018 photo which was released by the Nebraska State Patrol, shows a broken up trailer amid blowing snow on Interstate 80 near Bradshaw, Neb. (Nebraska State Patrol via AP)

In Kansas, a large stretch of Interstate 70, spanning much of the state, was closed between Junction City and WaKeeney on Sunday, and Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of emergency. Separately, a portion of Interstate 29 was shut down due to heavy snow in Missouri, near the Iowa border.

Heavy snow also left motorists stranded in western Illinois, forcing police to use snowmobiles to rescue people trapped in their cars.

Illinois State police and LaSalle County emergency management said crews were removing people from their cars by snowmobile and urged people to stay off the roads into Monday, WBBM-TV reported.

Conditions are expected to improve Monday as the storm system moves out, but downed tree limbs and power lines will continue to affect people throughout the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Winter storm to bring ‘hazardous’ conditions during busy post-Thanksgiving travel rush

A vigorous winter storm across the nation's midsection may throw a wrench in plans for millions of Americans making their way home on Sunday on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The National Weather Service said that the winter storm is expected to bring near-blizzard conditions from the Central Plains into the Great Lakes, impacting the Kansas City and Chicago metro areas the hardest.

"It's going to impact many going home after this long holiday weekend," Fox News' Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said Sunday on "Fox & Friends."

Heavy snow is expected to fall throughout the day on Sunday, with many areas seeing between 6 to 12 inches from eastern Kansas, Iowa, Northern Missouri and into Illinois. Some places may see up to 18 inches and strong winds, according to the NWS.

"We'll see some spots over a foot of snow, a lot of places 6 to 12 inches, and that means a lot of troubles all over the roads," Reichmuth said.

In Illinois, state officials warned drivers that conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the day, with heavy snow, high winds, and "much longer travel times" to be anticipated.

“This storm is expected to hit at a time when millions of people are on the roads, heading home after visiting friends and family,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said in a statement. “Please take all necessary precautions, including altering travel plans to leave early or asking yourself if your trip can wait.”

At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the sixth-busiest in the world, at least 197 flights were canceled as of Sunday morning, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Nationwide, FlightAware reported that nearly 500 flights were canceled on the last day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Weekend storm threatens to snarl Thanksgiving travel

Airline travelers brace for delays as they head home from Thanksgiving; Jacqui Heinrich reports from LaGuardia Airport in New York.

The site reported that the majority of the cancellations are flights that were supposed to be routed through Chicago or Kansas City — two areas forecast to be hit hard by the storm.

MAJOR SNOW STORM IN CENTRAL U.S. THREATENS THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY WEEKEND TRAVEL

Several airlines that operate out of Kansas City International Airport were waiving fees for rebooking flights due to the storm, FOX4 reported.

Many in the region decided to hit the road on Saturday in order to beat the oncoming storm, filling area gas stations.

"I`m a college student at Mizzou and I`m trying to beat the storm back," graduate student Sydney Eastman told FOX4. "When I saw the weather, I thought I better get out of here now."

In Nebraska, the state highway patrol said that Interstate 80 was closed westbound from Mahoney to Lincoln because of "multiple crashes."

Multiple crashes were reported on Interstate 80 in Nebraska due to the snow. (Nebraska State Patrol)

Authorities in Kansas said that Interstate 70 was shut down in several places Sunday morning due to drifting snow, and several crashes were reported.

Kansas Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Tod Hileman posted a video to Twitter showing the conditions, which read: “We have 100% snowpacked & iced roads with drifting. Winds are near 45 to 50 at times. There are many slide offs. We have jackknifed semi’s in Gove, Ellis and Russell Counties!”

For those who decide to wait to let the storm pass, conditions are expected to improve by Monday across the region with partly-sunny skies and temperatures into the 30s, according to the NWS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed