Fall snowstorm blasts Rockies, heading toward Midwest

National

People clear the sidewalk after a fall snowstorm in Helena, Mont., on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. The central Rocky Mountain region recieved its first dose of wintry weather. Mountainous areas recently hit by snowfall measured in feet (meters) could get another foot (30 centimeters) or more by Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A fall snowstorm is snarling traffic and causing power outages in the Rocky Mountains as it slowly moves across the northern U.S. toward the Great Plains.

Winter storm watches and warnings stretched from eastern Washington state to Minnesota, along with freeze warnings as far south as Colorado and Nebraska on Wednesday.

In Spokane, wet, heavy snow snapped tree branches and took out power lines. Avista Utilities was restoring power to 32,000 customers Wednesday.

Driving conditions are deteriorating across Montana and northern Wyoming as ice and blowing snow covered roadways.

Up to 2 feet (0.61 meters) of snow is expected to fall in the mountains, and up to a foot in lower-elevation towns and cities.

The storm is expected to bring the first snow of the season to Denver by Thursday.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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