Schools, services and businesses in much of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa have closed as the states hunker down in the wake of the season's first major snow storm.
Nearly all schools and child care services were closed Thursday in Omaha, Neb., and Des Moines, Iowa, and their surrounding areas. Scores of businesses -- from banks to grocery stores -- also closed their doors as a blizzard that began Wednesday night dumped nearly a foot of snow in some areas. Even as the snow tapered off early Thursday in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, high winds and blowing snow have made travel nearly impossible.
The National Weather Service says winds were expected to die down later Thursday. But the snow cover means freezing temperatures will stick around until next week.