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Storms dump heavy rain, snow on parts of West

 Louis Swingrover  walks along Sherman Avene in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 during a snow storm.   Up to a foot of snow was expec...
 An ATM machine is protected from the rain, as pedestrians face the rain in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. A new storm came just da...
 An uprooted tree blown over by high winds lays on the street in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles Thursday, Dec 30, 2010. A chilly northern winter...
 A double-crested cormorant takes flight from a piling as the freshly snow-covered Olympic Mountains behind turn pink from the dawn light Thursday, De...

WINTER WEATHER

Louis Swingrover walks along Sherman Avene in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 during a snow storm. Up to a foot of snow was expec...

California Storm

An ATM machine is protected from the rain, as pedestrians face the rain in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. A new storm came just da...

Western Weather

An uprooted tree blown over by high winds lays on the street in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles Thursday, Dec 30, 2010. A chilly northern winter...

Western Weather

A double-crested cormorant takes flight from a piling as the freshly snow-covered Olympic Mountains behind turn pink from the dawn light Thursday, De...

Western states battled nasty winter weather that shut down major roads in Arizona and California, blasted Nevada with frigid winds and left an area of western Washington in a whiteout.
The storm systems across parts of the West dumped heavy snows in some mountainous regions Wednesday and soaking rains in lower elevations, cutting power to thousands and causing numerous traffic tie-ups and accidents.
The storms even intruded on the normally pleasant winter weather in the Phoenix desert area, delivering an hours-long chilly rain and leaving residents bracing for a rare below-freezing dip in temperatures Friday.
Snow and ice forced the closure of parts of Interstates 17 and 40, the two major thoroughfares in northern Arizona, stranding motorists south of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.
"As far as I can see, it's tail lights," said Abel Gurrola, who was headed north on I-17 with his wife and three sons before the highways reopened Thursday.
On the East Coast, meanwhile, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged Thursday that the city's response to a massive blizzard this week was "inadequate and unacceptable."
The city's cleanup efforts, which left streets covered in snow days after the storm had finished Monday, "was slower than anyone would have liked," Bloomberg said, and would be reviewed.
He added, "Clearly the response to this storm has not met our standard or the standard that New Yorkers have come to expect from us."
The Sanitation Department has plowed every city street at least once, except for those blocks where abandoned cars blocked the way, and 1,600 plows were on the roads, he said. The last of the 600 stuck buses had been cleared, as had most of the abandoned cars, he said.
New York's airports were operating normally by Wednesday after the blizzard stranded many holiday travelers. Officials cautioned it could take days to clear the backlog of passengers bumped from canceled flights.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said it received more than 100 calls reporting slide-offs in a three-hour period, including semi trucks.
Snow also forced California transportation officials to close Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where winds were gusting to more than 40 mph (64 kph). The freeway was shut down from Halloran Springs to the Nevada state line but reopened early Thursday with highway patrol officers escorting motorists.
Visibility was bad around the Grand Canyon and in Flagstaff, National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Breckenridge said.
A blizzard warning was issued in parts of eastern and southeastern Arizona, and forecasters warned the system would likely move into neighboring New Mexico on Thursday.
The latest round of rain to hit waterlogged California moved east, leaving powerful winds in its wake.
Gusts of more than 50 mph (80 kph) hit parts of northern Los Angeles County late Wednesday, with colder air and potentially damaging winds expected overnight.
The California Highway Patrol reported downed trees and tumbleweeds on various Los Angeles-area freeways and streets, making it treacherous for motorists.
One person was killed by a falling tree and a snowboarder was missing. The U.S. Coast Guard searched in strong winds and high seas for a 20-foot (6-meter) pleasure boat reported to be in distress with four people aboard.
Winds were even stronger further east.
Blizzard conditions blew through Palouse, near the Idaho line. Wind gusts of more than 30 mph (48 kph) "will create whiteout conditions over the rural areas of the Palouse. Travel will be dangerous or impossible," the National Weather Service said.
A camping Boy Scout troop had to be rescued after a snowstorm stranded them near Pocatello, Idaho. The seven boys and three adults had planned to spend Tuesday night at Lariat Cave but were unable to get out, Power County Sheriff Jim Jeffries said. They called for help Wednesday morning and responders brought them out by snowmobile several hours later.
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Associated Press writers John Antczak in Los Angeles, Scott Sonner in Reno, Nicholas K. Geranios in Spokane, Washington, and Ben Neary in Cheyenne, Wyoming, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-19 00:51 GMT+08:00