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Storm remains dangerous even after warnings expire

Bus havoc with United School District in Monmouth

Bus havoc with United School District in Monmouth

A blizzard warning expires at midnight for all counties in and around the Quad Cities but dangerous conditions will persist into Friday morning.

The blizzard warning included Jackson, Clinton, Muscatine, Scott, Louisa, Henry (Iowa), Des Moines, Lee, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Rock Island, Mercer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Benton, Linn, Jones, Iowa, Johnson, Cedar, Keokuk, Washington, Jefferson, Van Buren, Henry (Illinois), Bureau, Putnam, Henderson, Warren, Hancock, McDonough, Knox, Stark, Peoria, Marshall, Fulton and Schuyler counties.  It was set to expire at midnight Thursday night.

Total snow accumulations were eight to 15 inches in the blizzard area.

Little, if any, additional snow was expected after 7 p.m. Thursday.   High winds creating dangerously cold wind chills and blowing and drifting snow will continue to affect people hit by the storm.

“Travel conditions will be dangerous, if not impossible due to high winds, poor visibility and snow accumulations,” according to a statement on the National Weather Service website.  “Strong winds and snow accumulations may lead to downed tree branches and power outages.”

Winds that sometimes gusted over 50 miles per hour were expected to diminish to 20 to 30 miles per hour after midnight.  Wind chills of zero to 10 degrees below zero were possible overnight and into the early-morning hours Friday.

State police in Iowa and Illinois continued to warn motorists to stay off the roads until they could be cleared and conditions improved Friday morning.  Hundreds of vehicles were wrecked or stranded on roads across most of Iowa and the northern half of Illinois.

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