Winter storm weakens but thousands still without power
CHICAGO - The fury of the winter storm that swept into the northern Great Plains on Christmas Day has weakened, but thousands remain without power in the Dakotas and Michigan.
High winds and drifting snow continued to make travel hazardous in the Dakotas heading into Tuesday, even as vast stretches of highways that had been closed reopened to traffic.
The storm has caused extensive power outages.
The South Dakota Rural Electric Association said roughly 13,700 of its customers were without power as of 1 a.m. Tuesday.
A Consumers Energy spokesman told WOOD-TV that more than 20,000 customers in Michigan were without power Monday evening.
Severe whiteout conditions led to the closure of Minot International Airport, which wasn't expected to reopen until 3 a.m. Tuesday.