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Winter storm shuts down hundreds of miles of Midwest highways


Transportation officials in the midwest have been forced to shut down major interstates as severe winter weather is causing white out conditions and crashes.

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 27, the Nebraska State Patrol announced that I-80 is shut down in both directions for nearly 60 miles between Exit 179 in North Platte and Exit 237 in Lexington. Highway 30 has also been shut down in that area. Nebraska troopers are reporting multiple crashes on I-80 as a result of winter weather conditions.

It isn’t clear at this time when I-80 will reopen, but you can click here to follow the Nebraska State Patrol on Facebook for the latest road closure information.

Also around 10 a.m. on December 27, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced that both directions of I-70 are shut down for 112 miles between WaKeeney and Colby for blizzard conditions.  Kansas Troopers are reporting two serious injury collisions on I-70 near this area of the interstate closure.

It isn’t clear when I-70 will reopen, but you can follow the Kansas Department of Transportation on Twitter for the latest information.

Other road closures reported in Kansas as of 8 a.m. on December 27 include:

• U.S. 50 from Garden City west to the state line
• Grant, Stevens and Morton counties all roads closed
• K-25 from the state line north of U.S. 160
• K-25 from Lakin to Leoti
• K-27 from Morton County Line to Johnson City
• K-51 from K-25 to U.S. 83
• U.S. 56 in Stevens County Line to U.S. 83

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has already declared a state of emergency due to the winter storm and is urging drivers to be careful. “We hope that travelers will be wise by paying attention to weather alerts and not unnecessarily placing themselves in harm’s way as the storm moves through,” he said.

Winter Storm Eboni is expected to dump as much as 18 inches of snow on parts of the midwest on December 27 as blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

In addition to heavy snow, wind speeds of 30 miles per hour are expected, with wind gusts that could reach speeds of 50 miles per hours.

CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett warned that the winters weather conditions will make driving difficult: “Snow with high winds and low visibility will make travel in this area dangerous if not impossible at times.”

In addition to winter weather, the storm system is also bringing the threat of flooding, thunderstorms, and tornados in the midwest and southeastern states.

UPDATE: I-80 Westbound is now CLOSED from Kearney to North Platte.I-80 Eastbound remains CLOSED from North Platte to Lexington. Highway 30 is closed for the same stretches.

Posted by Nebraska State Patrol on Thursday, December 27, 2018


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