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“Sometimes we call them ‘inside sliders’ because they slide down the Inside Passage from Alaska,” he said.

The tiny central Washington town of Waterville became a refuge when the blizzard blasted across the scattered wheat fields and sagebrush along U.S. Highway 2.

“We got sideways snow. We’ve got snow that’s going up, stuck up under things. Snow is everywhere, because it’s been so windy,” Dave Lundgren, owner of the Waterville Historic Hotel, said Tuesday. “We’re definitely going to be looking for inside things to do.”

The Washington State Patrol Tuesday launched a plane equipped with a heat-seeking camera to look for stranded motorists from Seattle south to Olympia. It said that in the 24 hours ending at 10 a.m., troopers had responded to 1,557 collisions and 1,274 disabled motorists statewide.

Much of Northwest will get a cold but brief break to dig out and maybe brave travel for the Thanksgiving holiday before more snow that could arrive by Wednesday night.

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Associated Press writers George Tibbits, Phuong Le and Donna Gordon Blankinship in Seattle, Nicholas K. Geranios in Spokane, Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Mary Pemberton in Anchorage and Mark Carlson in Phoenix contributed to this report.