The Latest: Traffic slowly moving along icy area of I-10

Odessa Police block access to the railroad underpass on Grant Avenue near Second Street, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Odessa, Texas. Nearly all of Interstate 40 in Texas, the main east-west highway through the Texas Panhandle, has been shut because of the snowstorm pummeling the area. The Texas Department of Public Safety says only a small section of the highway within Amarillo is not closed. (Mark Sterkel/Odessa American via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

The latest developments on the severe storms across the U.S. (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

Texas officials say traffic on part of Interstate 10 in the western part of the state is slowly moving again after coming to a standstill due to icy conditions and multiple accidents.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Gene Powell said Monday morning that traffic was moving now, “very slowly” in the area where Interstate 10 splits into Interstate 20. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Elizabeth Carter said traffic had been backed up for about 13 miles.

Powell said traffic became snarled Sunday night and there were people who were “virtually stationary” in their vehicles overnight. He said Monday a fuel truck was patrolling the area.

Vito Randazzo, of Alpine, California, was driving across the country and was among those who got stuck, beginning at about 8 p.m. Sunday. Around 9 a.m. Monday he was able to see where he could drive across a median and get onto a service road.


10:15 a.m.

Oklahoma emergency officials say more than 50 people have been injured and about 175,000 are without power after a powerful winter storm blanketed much of the state with ice and brought flooding to eastern parts of the state.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain says there were no immediate reports of weather-related deaths, but the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is searching for two hunters missing in Kay County.

Patrol spokesman Lt. John Vincent says the men were reportedly in a boat on Kaw Lake. Vincent says rescuers found the capsized boat, but there were no signs of the men. The search resumed at daybreak Monday.

Car accidents from icy roads were reported across mostly central and western Oklahoma.


10:15 a.m.

Eastbound Interstate 40 is being reopened in eastern New Mexico after an extended closure due to the major storm that pummeled parts of the state.

The Department of Transportation says the freeway initially reopened Monday morning in Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. The next stages being reopened by late Monday morning are in Moriarity and Albuquerque.

The department also says its crews worked throughout the night to clear the highway, which was closed in eastern New Mexico over the weekend.

Elsewhere, some highways remain icy and snow-packed and the department is advising drivers to use caution.


10 a.m.

Residents in and around the small St. Louis-area town of West Alton are evacuating as the Mississippi River nears a potential record crest.

An unusual amount of late-fall rain had the river already high before torrential downpours that began Saturday. Some parts of eastern Missouri have received 6 inches of rain or more over the past three days. Heavy rain was falling again Monday.

West Alton officials on Sunday ordered evacuations, saying the expected crest of 38.9 feet on Thursday will top the levee by nearly 5 feet.

West Alton, about 20 miles north of St. Louis, has about 520 residents.


9:35 a.m.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, say a tornado has been reported in northwest Florida.

Gene Jacobi says there have been no reports of injuries or property damage in Molino.

Forecasters say the line of severe weather is expected to make its way across the Panhandle on Monday. Some areas have reported local flooding from heavy rains overnight and the previous week.

On Pensacola Beach, the National Park Service closed some flood-prone roads in Gulf Islands National Seashore because of potential flooding.


8:45 a.m.

Nearly 900 flights have been canceled across the U.S. and another 500 have been delayed due to the large storm system moving through the middle part of the country.

Flight-tracking service FlightAware showed that more than a third of the cancellations were at Chicago’s two main airports. Another large chunk came from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; several tornadoes touched down Saturday in the Dallas suburbs.

Other cities with an unusually large number of cancellations included Houston, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Missouri, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Lubbock, Texas.

A typical day sees about 150 cancelations and 4,000 delays.

Heavy rain and strong winds, like forecast for parts of Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas on Monday, are often more troubling for airlines than snowfall.


8:35 a.m.

The Texas Department of Transportation says many roadways across West Texas and the Panhandle have been closed due to ice and blizzard conditions, with traffic coming to standstill where Interstate 10 splits into Interstate 20.

The department said early Monday morning Interstates 40 and 27 were closed and that travelers should expect long delays across the region.

Vito Randazzo, of Alpine, California, is driving across the country and was among those who got stuck on Interstate 10.

He said Monday morning that he’d been sitting on the icy interstate since 8 p.m. Sunday and that “everybody’s just sleeping in their cars.”

He also said he couldn’t believe the “road was left in this condition” — snow-packed and icy — and that he had water, but not food.

National Weather Service officials say that while the snow has stopped across the area, temperatures are to remain near or below freezing.

7:35 a.m.

Authorities say more than 180 Missouri roads are closed because of flooding.

The Missouri State Department of Transportation says the closures include eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in St. Charles County. Though both lanes closed Sunday because of rising flood waters, the westbound lanes reopened Monday morning.

Several bridges in southeastern Missouri counties also are closed because of flooding.

The National Weather Service said three to six inches of rain fell during the weekend, and up to four inches more is expected through Monday.


7:25 a.m.

Officials in Birmingham, Alabama, say more than 70 structures sustained some type of damage after a tornado touched down on Christmas.

City spokesman April Odom said a preliminary assessment found the storm damaged 72 structures in the Jefferson Avenue area, ranging from minor damage to full destruction.

Other parts of the city saw damage, too, and assessments will be completed this week.

Forecasters more storms are in the forecast for most of Alabama on Monday, and a tornado watch is in effect until noon CST for more than 30 counties.


8 a.m.

Officials in Mississippi are reporting downed trees across a highway and a roof blown off a house from a storm about 20 miles northwest of Hattiesburg.

Covington County Emergency Manager Greg Sanford says the damage happened before dawn Monday near the town of Seminary. The area was under a tornado warning at the time, but no tornado has been confirmed.

Warnings were posted as a squall line moved west to east across Mississippi.

Statewide, more than 6,800 power customers lacked electricity at 6 a.m. Monday.

Northern Mississippi residents are still cleaning up from a tornado that struck Wednesday and killed 10 people in the state.


6:50 a.m.

Oklahoma highway officials say many roads are impassable because of wintry weather, downed power lines or flooding.

Parts of western and central Oklahoma are under a winter storm warning until midday Monday, while flooding is a major concern in the southern and eastern part of the state.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says roads in northwest Oklahoma and Interstate 35 in central Oklahoma are slick and hazardous.

The National Weather Service says “disastrous” flooding will occur in eastern Oklahoma, where some areas received up to a foot of rain over the weekend. The state DOT says high water has caused the closure of some roads in counties in the southern and eastern part of the state.


6:30 a.m.

Parts of 11 states in the middle of the country are under a winter storm warning as the weather system that spawned tornadoes in Texas and flooding in Missouri moves on.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for southern and eastern parts of Missouri, including St. Louis, and a small section of northern Arkansas. Most of Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, central Missouri and central Illinois are under a flood warning.

Forecasters say Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will see winter weather conditions ranging from heavy snow to ice, accompanied by gusty winds.

Parts of the Southeast will see rain, while severe weather is possible in Mississippi.


2:30 a.m.

Blizzard-like conditions have led to the closure of most of Interstate 40 from Albuquerque east across the Texas Panhandle.

New Mexico State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo said Sunday night that the stretch of interstate from Albuquerque to the Texas border would be closed through at least Monday afternoon. She urged travelers passing through New Mexico to use Interstate 10 instead.

In Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety says only a small section of the highway around Amarillo remains open. Texas State Trooper Cindy Barkley says deteriorating conditions forced authorities to indefinitely close the highway for about 100 miles east of Amarillo to Oklahoma.

I-40 is the main east-west highway through the state’s Panhandle.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning until 9 a.m. Monday for the Panhandle and several counties in New Mexico. Authorities say that even in areas where the warning has expired, residual blowing and drifting is expected and will make conditions dangerous. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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