Deadly Snow Storm Halts Holiday Travel

A deadly snow storm sweeping across the great plains has left at least 11 people dead, stranded skiers, and has interrupted holiday travel by shutting down major highways in five states.

The Daily Mail reports that the snow storm has been blamed for 11 deaths so far. Four people died in New Mexico when a vehicle collided with a pickup truck. A prison guard and an inmate were killed in Colorado when the prison van crashed on the side of the road. And five people were killed in a plane crash in New Mexico.

The snowstorm has brought visibility down to zero and has iced several major highways. Linda Pape, general manager of a Super 8 Motel in Clayton, New Mexico, said that her rooms are full with unhappy travelers.

“They lost a day or two of skiing, and they had budgeted an amount of money they were going to spend. Now they have to spend more staying somewhere else.”

Clayton police dispatcher Cindy Blackwell said that she’s received hundreds of emergency calls from stranded motorists. Blackwell said:

“The phones are ringing off the hook. All I can do is answer the phones and call the state police.”

Weather.com reports that the blizzard will start winding down today as it had Norths. The Snowstorm brought more than a foot of snow and some areas saw five foot drifts. Clayton, New Mexico recorded wind gusts of 72 mph and whiteout conditions.

Here’s a video of some of the conditions from the Associated Press.

Are you traveling this holiday season?