Powerful storm sweeps across northern U.S. plains


Commuters woke up to snow-covered cars on Thursday, and some who tried to travel... found themselves stuck in snowbanks, as a powerful October storm sweeps from Washington to Montana and into the central U.S. plains.

"Kind a crazy, pretty early."

The pre-winter storm brought heavy, wet snow and icy road conditions to Snoqualie Pass, Washington and prompted driver Lee Miller to take precautions.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEE MILLER, DRIVER, SAYING:

"This morning before I left home, I put the chains in and the shovel and the ice scraper, just in case."

Farther east in Billings, Montana, officials were expecting 6 to 10 inches of snow with highs reaching just into the 20s.

The National Weather Service says the storm is now heading into the Dakotas.

A blizzard warning was issued for communities there into Saturday, with three feet of snow expected and wind gusts to reach 60 miles per hour.

The Weather Service called it "significant, historic amounts for this time of year."