SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Visions of sugar plums froze into snowdrifts and icicles Friday as blizzard conditions blanketed parts of the U.S. Plains.
Blizzard warnings were in effect for parts of northwestern Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, the Dakotas and Minnesota. Widespread power outages were reported.
Accuweather.com said the storm would make travel hazardous through Saturday, forcing numerous road closures. Howling winds were expected to keep the white stuff blowing and drifting long after new flakes stop falling. The storm is expected to weaken as it moves east from the Dakotas where long stretches of Interstates 29 and 90 have been deemed impassable.
A Sioux Falls, S.D., snow plow driver picked up a stranded motorist whose legs were paralyzed by the cold. Motorists also were rescued from at least three other vehicles, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reported.
"In one case a plow operator had to physically carry an individual," said Tom Dravland, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. "They basically were not capable of walking anymore."
In Oklahoma, Gov. Brad Henry closed every highway, interstate and turnpike due to conditions, KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City, reported. Some 13 inches of snow was reported at Will Rogers World Airport and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported at least five deaths attributable to the storm, The Oklahoman reported.
In Kansas City, Mo., police started ticketing people whose cars were not equipped with snow tires or chains, The Kansas City Star reported.