Winter storm weakens but thousands still without power

Bismarck's Second Street in the downtown area had cars stuck in snowdrifts Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Bismarck, N.D. The combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds that forced vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas to be shut down Sunday continued into Monday, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Chelsey Kalmback, 29, plays on her phone while waiting for a rescheduled flight to North Dakota after several flights were delayed or canceled mostly due to weather, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, in Minnesota. Winds at 40-50 mph slowed operations at the airport where both incoming and departing flights were facing delays of up to 40 minutes Monday. Just one runway was in operation according to airport officials. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
Makelah White, 20, lies on a mat while waiting to get a rescheduled flight to California after several flights were delayed or canceled mostly due to weather, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, in Minnesota. Winds at 40-50 mph slowed operations at the airport where both incoming and departing flights were facing delays of up to 40 minutes Monday. Just one runway was in operation according to airport officials. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
A car parked on a street in downtown Bismarck, N.D., is covered by a snowdrift on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, after Sunday's Christmas Day blizzard. The state's Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation said Monday that a no-travel advisory is still effective. Officials say the Jamestown area has limited lodging and truck facilities. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
A young girl plays with a plush toy at the Delta Air Lines counter after several flights were delayed or canceled mostly due to weather, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, in Minnesota. Winds at 40-50 mph slowed operations at the airport where both incoming and departing flights were facing delays of up to 40 minutes Monday. Just one runway was in operation according to airport officials. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
A car covered by a snowdrift next sits next to a "Welcome to downtown Bismarck" sign Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Bismarck, N.D. The combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds that forced vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas to be shut down Sunday continued into Monday, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Mandan firefighters Shane Weltikol, left, and Chad Nicklos clear accumulating snow from outside the firehouse in downtown Mandan, N.D., as the Christmas Day blizzard intensifies on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. Most of the Dakotas and southwest Minnesota had turned into a slippery mess due to freezing rain Sunday morning before snow arrived later in the day as temperatures fell. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Vehicles piled high with snow in Mandan, N.D., Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. The combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds that forced vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas to be shut down Sunday continued into Monday, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Madori Griffin, who says her car was snowed in, makes her way through an intersection while walking to work in the intensive care unit of Sanford Hospital early Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Bismarck, N.D. The combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds that forced the shutdown Sunday of vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas continued into Monday morning, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Chad Gion, left, and Zach Wilson begin the process of digging a vehicle out in southeast Mandan, N.D., Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. The combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds that forced vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas to be shut down Sunday continued into Monday, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Chris Barrett walks in low visibility conditions in downtown Mandan, N.D., during the Christmas Day blizzard on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. Most of the Dakotas and southwest Minnesota had turned into a slippery mess due to freezing rain Sunday morning before snow arrived later in the day as temperatures fell. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO — The furious winter storm that swept into the northern Great Plains on Christmas Day weakened Tuesday, but thousands remained without power in the Dakotas and Michigan.

High winds and drifting snow continued to make travel hazardous in the Dakotas, even as vast stretches of highways that had been closed reopened to traffic. The no-travel warnings issued Christmas Day for much of North Dakota had largely expired by Tuesday, although the National Weather Service warned that drifting snow still blocked some roads.

Interstate 94, which had been closed for days in North Dakota, reopened Tuesday, as did Interstate 90 in South Dakota.

The Minot International Airport, which was closed Monday due to whiteout conditions, reopened Tuesday and was expecting its first flights — incoming and outgoing — late morning.

Winds gusting 40 mph to 50 mph also led to delays and cancellations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Monday, but the airport returned to full operations the next day, reporting just a handful of delays.

The South Dakota Rural Electric Association said roughly 13,700 of its customers were without power early Tuesday, and it could take several days to restore service. In Michigan, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy said 17,300 customers still had no electricity Tuesday morning.

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