DES MOINES, Iowa The first major snowstorm of the season began its slow eastward march across the Midwest early Thursday, leaving at least three people dead, creating treacherous driving conditions and threatening to disrupt some of the nation’s busiest airports ahead of the holiday weekend.
Forecasters warned that heavy snow coupled with strong winds would create blizzard conditions for morning commuters from Kansas to Wisconsin, after blanketing the Rocky Mountains earlier in the week.
A powerful storm peeled the roofs off buildings and toppled trucks in Mobile, Ala., but injured no one.
Tornado warnings remained in effect in parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama early Thursday.
The storm dropped nearly a foot of snow in Des Moines, but the storm wasn’t as dangerous as earlier feared because everyone had good warning of the approaching havoc, said Kevin Skow, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Des Moines. But wind might become a concern, he warned.