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Powerful storm wreaks havoc in western states

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New Mexico braces for winter weather event

By The Staff

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A large and powerful storm howled across the West with snow and strong winds Monday, snarling traffic, closing schools and threatening to spawn mudslides in wildfire-devastated Southern California.

Virtually the entire region was suffering, from subzero wind chills in Washington state to heavy snow that closed schools and government offices in Reno, Nev., and left big rigs jackknifed across highways in several states. Blizzard warnings were in effect for northern Arizona and parts of Colorado, with forecasters predicting up to 2 feet of snow around Flagstaff.

The National Weather Service said the upper elevations of the Sierra mountains could get up to 3 feet of snow, with up to 4 feet forecast for the mountains of southern Utah. Even the hills east of San Francisco Bay received a rare dusting overnight, and snow was predicted for Fresno and other communities in California's Central Valley.

Bad weather stretched far to the east as well. The first snow of the season for much of Indiana snarled traffic and delayed schools. Crashes left one person dead.

Reno schools closed and all nonessential state government workers, except public safety personnel, were told to stay home. Chains or snow tires were required across the region. Several flights into and out of Reno-Tahoe International were delayed or canceled.


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