Snowstorm takes aim at Plains, Midwest

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm •  Published: March 23, 2013
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"This region routinely has winter snow and has the appropriate equipment and procedures to manage these winter conditions," Gavitt said in a written statement. "We encourage fans planning to attend games to pay attention to the weather, use good judgment and follow any directions from local authorities regarding travel and weather."

North Carolina coach Roy Williams was nonplussed.

"It's no distraction, unless the roof goes off, we'll still be able to play and the whole bit like that," Williams said.

Elsewhere, some churches and other organizations were calling off events. Among them, the final game of the Emporia State baseball series with Southwest Baptist was canceled.

Denver International Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said about 106 flights have been canceled, many of which involved commuter jets headed to nearby destinations or to mountain towns.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said up to a foot of new snow in the mountains could create dangerous avalanche conditions.

Colorado State Patrol troopers also spent part of Saturday working a crash near Johnstown involving a tractor-trailer that burst into flames. An estimated 20 to 50 vehicles, including four tractor-trailers, crashed or slid off the roadway in the area. The patrol said several people were hospitalized, but no fatalities have been reported.

The system will move into Illinois and Indiana overnight and into Sunday.

Meteorologist Dan Smith with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, Ill., said snowstorms aren't uncommon in early spring. The latest the area has seen snow, he said, was April 23, in 1910.

"One good thing about (the snowstorms) is it doesn't matter how much you get, it usually doesn't stick around too long because temperatures start to warm up pretty good," he said.

Farther south, tornadoes were possible in Louisiana and Mississippi, while strong winds and low humidity could lead to forest fires and wildfires in parts of New Mexico and West Texas.

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Associated Press writers Jason Keyser in Chicago, Thomas Peipert in Denver, David Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., and Margery A. Beck in Omaha, Neb., contributed to this report.