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Major blizzard in US Mid-west threatens holiday travel

Published on Dec 21, 2012 6:15 AM

CHICAGO (AFP) - A massive and deadly winter snowstorm blanketed the United States (US) Mid-west on Thursday, grounding hundreds of planes and making roads and highways impassable as travellers gear up for the Christmas holiday.

The region's first big storm of the season dumped more than 30cm of snow in parts of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota overnight and more was expected as the powerful system moved slowly eastward.

Winds with gusts as high as 80kmh felled trees and power lines, leaving tens of thousands of homes in the dark and cold.

Snow drifts reached as high as four feet in some places and visibility was down to near zero, the National Weather Service reported.

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