Hundreds of holiday travelers took shelter in motels, public buildings and homes 40 years ago as a Thanksgiving weekend blizzard swept across the Midlands, piling snow up to 20 inches deep in some areas and closing roads, businesses and schools.
Winds reaching 60 mph, drifts up to 6 feet high and poor visibility stranded travelers in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa and Kansas.
In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, freezing rain from the storm caused ice-covered streets and many accidents. In western Nebraska, heavy snowfall was reported.
The Omaha metropolitan area received more than 7 inches of snow. Then-Mayor Mike Boyle declared a snow emergency that night.
Wind-driven snow caused the closing of a 120-mile stretch of Interstate 80 between Ogallala, Nebraska, and the Wyoming state line, and a 300-mile section of Interstate 70 between Denver and WaKeeney, Kansas.
The National Weather Service said travel was “nearly impossible over all but the …