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By Elisha Fieldstadt and Doha Madani
A good part of the country was facing dangerous winter weather on Friday as people hit the roads and took to the sky during a busy holiday travel week.
The majority of New Mexico was blanketed in a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service, which said heavy winds could create blizzard conditions in parts of the state, and that 2 feet could accumulate in some areas.
Towns outside of Albuquerque, which was under its first-ever blizzard warning, were reporting 16 inches of snow Friday morning. The city usually averages fewer than 3 inches of snow in the entire month of December, and the snowfall record for Dec. 28 is 4.9 inches.
Parts of Texas, Colorado, and Arizona were also under winter weather advisories.
In the Midwest — where snow and winds created havoc on the roads Thursday — the storm has calmed, but highways were still iced over in states like Minnesota, the Dakotas and Kansas that had areas seeing up to a foot of snow.
Parts of Minnesota were still under no travel advisories Friday morning, according to the state patrol.
One person was killed and nine others were injured when an SUV collided with a small bus carrying eight adults on a slick highway near Big Lake, about 40 miles north of Minneapolis, according to the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.
A 51-year-old pedestrian, Michael Paul Donnay, was killed Thursday after a pickup truck with a plow hit him in Brainerd, Minnesota, according to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office.
In Kansas, a 16-year-old boy was killed and three other people were seriously injured when a semitrailer pinned an SUV against a guardrail on an iced-over section of I-70 Thursday, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
A 37-year-old Louisiana man died Thursday after “snow fog” caused his car to crash with another vehicle in North Dakota, NBC affiliate KFYR reported. The North Dakota Highway Patrol said the second vehicle was following a snow plow and visibility was reduced as the snow being removed was thrown into the air, according to KFYR.
Parts of the Southeast had already picked up 6-12 inches of rain overnight Thursday. In Tennessee, a 30-year-old woman’s body was discovered Friday after she was swept away by flood waters the night before, NBC affiliate WRCB reported.
Travel wasn’t proving to be much easier on roads and skies in the east, from the Gulf Coast through the Carolinas and up toward the Northeast, as heavy rain fell. More than 100 flights at Atlanta International Airport and dozens at Charlotte Douglas International Airport were delayed on Friday morning in the soggy weather.