DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three people died as the first major snowstorm of the season hit the U.S. Midwest early Thursday, threatening to disrupt some of the nation's busiest airports ahead of the holiday weekend.
Forecasters warned that heavy snow coupled, with strong winds, could create blizzard conditions from Kansas to Wisconsin after the storm blanketed the Rocky Mountains earlier in the week.
In Chicago, officials at O'Hare International Airport reported more than 90 cancellations.
In Wisconsin, sheriff's officials said slick conditions led to at least two deaths late Wednesday when a driver lost control of his car. In Utah, a woman who tried to walk for help after her car became stuck in snow died Tuesday night. Search and rescue crews on snowmobiles found her buried in the snow.
On the southern edge of the storm system, high winds peeled the roofs off buildings and toppled trucks in Mobile, Alabama, but injured no one. Tornado warnings remained in effect in parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama early Thursday.
The moisture was welcome to farmers in the drought-parched region, but Meteorologist Kris Sanders said the storm wouldn't make much of a dent.
John Milburn reported from Topeka, Kan. Associated Press writers Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri; Colleen Slevin in Denver; Carla K. Johnson and Jason Keyser in Chicago; Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska; Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Dinesh Ramde and Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.