WORTHINGTON, Minn. -

Heavy snow, sleet and gusty winds are testing the patience of morning commuters in the Twin Cities as residents to the south are dealing with the after-effects of an ice storm that knocked out power to thousands.

Forecasters expect snow totals will range from 3 to 5 inches in the southeast metro area to 6 to 8 inches in some western suburbs Thursday. Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall in west central and central Minnesota.

WCCO radio reported some interruptions in Metro Transit service in the Twin Cities because of icing on overhead power lines.

Freezing rain on Wednesday toppled power lines and knocked out power to 4,000 homes and businesses in Nobles, Rock and Murray counties. Gov. Mark Dayton called out the National Guard to help respond to the disruptions.

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A spring storm packing snow and ice has hit several states in the Midwest, knocking out power in communities and prompting Minnesota's governor to call out the state National Guard to help residents.

Icy weather left thousands of people in Minnesota in the dark, while another storm threatened to dump several inches of wet snow by Thursday.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says the weather is taxing local and county government resources. He issued an executive order activating the guard.

Tens of thousands of residents in eastern South Dakota without power await the second wave of a storm that already downed power lines and closed roads, schools and businesses.

In North Dakota, about 3 to 5 inches of snow is expected through late Thursday in the state's flood-prone southeastern portion.