Blizzard cripples Rockies and Plains, powerful storm not over yet

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A massive storm crippled the Rockies and northern Plains with a powerful blizzard, dropping over 1 foot of snow, closing interstates and stranding drivers.

As the storm intensified Wednesday, a couple of preliminary record low pressures were recorded in Colorado and Kansas, becoming one of the strongest storms to hit the High Plains in decades.

Nearly 80 million Americans are still under the impact of this powerful storm Thursday as it brings dangerous blizzard conditions to the Rockies and Midwest, strong storms to Mississippi and Tennessee, and damaging winds to Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Here is the latest forecast:

Winds over 50 mph are possible Thursday across much of the central U.S., from the Dakotas to Indianapolis to Chicago to St. Louis. Downed trees, power outages and property damage are possible.

There's also a new severe component to this storm in the South. Thunderstorms and damaging wind gusts are possible in parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

There's an enhanced risk for severe weather Thursday from Mississippi to Michigan, including Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville and Indianapolis. Damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes are possible.

No significant severe weather is expected for most of the East Coast. There could be some strong wind gusts across parts of the Great Lakes into Thursday night; however, calmer and quieter weather should overtake much of the Northeast by Friday with only a couple of showers.

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