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Record-breaking snowfall suspends travel in Upper Midwest states

Carrie Snyder / The Forum via AP

In this photo from Sunday, pedestrians cross snow-covered Main Avenue in downtown Fargo, N.D.

As the Northeast returned Monday to more seasonable conditions after digging out from a major winter storm, snowy weather that clobbered the Upper Midwest made travel nearly impossible, according to local reports.

Blizzard warnings posted by the National Weather Service continued into Monday morning in areas of South Dakota and North Dakota that already saw record-breaking snowfall over the weekend. It prompted officials to keep closed more than 800 miles of interstate highway, Weather.com reported.

Gusty winds around 30 to 40 mph accompanied the snowfall and reduced visibility, resulting in white-out conditions in some areas, National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Adams said.


More coverage from The Weather Channel

Additionally, 12 to 18 inches of snow and rain combined to create slushy, slick roads, spelling trouble for drivers, according to Greg Fuller, South Dakota Department of Transportation director of operations.

"Vehicles have been getting stuck in the snow, and drivers have been going off the road," Fuller told the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Fuller added that because the snow fell faster than workers could clear streets, he anticipated that roads would remain closed for a significant amount of time.

Carrie Snyder / The Forum via AP

In this photo from Sunday, Ryan Luken clears a sidewalk in north Fargo, N.D.

In Fargo, N.D., more than a foot of heavy, wet snow hampered efforts to open up roads and plows were unable to bust through the cover in some areas, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported.

Meanwhile in Chicago, the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory until 4 p.m. local time, due to gusts between 30 and 50 mph.

The weather service warned that such winds could make driving difficult and cause some property damage, NBCChicago.com reported.

The area could also see some occasional light snow showers or flurries with some minor accumulation possible.