- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Latest on a winter storm causing blizzard conditions, potential flooding in Upper Midwest (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Winds gusting to over 60 mph are howling through the Rapid City area as a blizzard slams western South Dakota.

The National Weather Service reports a gust of 63 mph (101 kilometers per hour) was recorded at Rapid City Regional Airport on Wednesday afternoon. The airport was closed because of the approaching storm.

A gust of 60 mph (96.6 kph) was reported east of downtown Rapid City.



People in the southeastern part of South Dakota are dealing with rain and flooded roads.

Because of the heavy rain in Sioux Falls, the sanitary sewer system is experiencing above-normal flows. Those high flows are putting stress on the sanitary sewer system. Officials are asking residents to limit their water usage through Friday evening to allow the sanitary sewer system to catch up.

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4:20 p.m.

Many government offices in the Fargo, North Dakota, area will be closed as the area braces for a strong winter storm.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney has declared an emergency to close all non-emergency city offices on Thursday.

All Fargo City Hall departments and public libraries will be closed Thursday. There will be no bus service.

In West Fargo, all nonessential city offices and buildings also will be closed Thursday. Cass County government offices also will be closed.

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3:55 p.m.

A powerful winter storm is forcing South Dakota officials to close another section of a major highway in the western part of the state.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation says both east and westbound lanes of Interstate 90 between Wall and the Wyoming border will close at 4 p.m. Mountain time Wednesday.

The interstate already is closed from Wall to Oacoma/Chamberlain.

Rain is falling in southeastern South Dakota. The National Weather Service says more than an inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain has fallen in Sioux Falls, with another inch expected.

Many roads are reported flooded in Douglas and Clay counties in southeastern South Dakota.

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2:20 p.m.

South Dakota transportation officials have closed Interstate 90 from Wall to Chamberlain as a strong late winter storm pushes into the state.

The 150-mile (241-kilometer) stretch of interstate was closed in both east and west directions on Wednesday.

Flooding over roads also is reported in southeastern and south-central South Dakota.

South Dakota officials recommend that motorists not try to travel Thursday.

Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been out since early Wednesday. Those who have not already been pulled off highways will be brought in off highways at nightfall.

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12:15 p.m.

Rapid City Regional Airport says it’s closing until further notice because of the approaching storm.

The area is anticipating blizzard conditions as a strong winter storm lands later Wednesday. The airport said in a release that it would reopen as soon as conditions warrant. It says it’s closing in the “best interest of public safety.”

In Sioux Falls, many flights were canceled at its regional airport because of visibility of less than 1/8 of a mile.

The storm packing wind gusts of 60 mph and a foot of snow triggered a blizzard warning for South Dakota. A similar warning for northeast North Dakota and northwest and west central Minnesota was in effect Thursday through Friday.

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11:15 a.m.

Many flights at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport have been canceled because of low visibility.

Airport executive director Dan Letellier says visibility was lower than 1/8 of a mile Wednesday morning. Arrivals and departures that were canceled include flights from and to Florida, Arizona and Texas.

Letellier says delays and cancelations may become an issue again on Thursday, as blizzard conditions blanket the Sioux Falls area.

Forecasters say snow will quickly develop and winds will dramatically increase from 30 to 50 mph by mid-afternoon in South Dakota Wednesday, creating whiteout conditions.

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7:45 a.m.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has closed state government offices in 39 central and western counties because of blizzard conditions.

A major late winter storm is expected to cover most of South Dakota beginning Wednesday with heavy snow, gusty winds, rain and freezing rain. Flooding is also expected in some areas.

Noem says only essential personnel at state offices in the affected counties should report to work Wednesday.

Officials say they are monitoring the storm closely and evaluating whether further state office closures will be necessary.

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6:30 a.m.

Rain and melting snow have triggered flood warnings in some Upper Midwestern states while blizzard conditions are the primary concern in other states.

Many rivers around Wisconsin are expected to reach flood stage over the next few days as thunderstorms and showers melt away the snow. The National Weather Service posted a flood warning in the Eau Claire area and into southeastern Minnesota. A flood watch was issued for portions of east central, south central and southeast Wisconsin Wednesday through Friday.

A strong storm packing wind gusts of 60 mph and a foot of snow is moving into South Dakota where a blizzard warning was posted. Rapid City schools and government offices are among those closed Wednesday. A similar warning for northeast North Dakota and northwest and west central Minnesota was in effect Thursday through Friday.

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