Portions of two major highways in northwestern Kansas have been closed because of hazardous winter weather conditions.
A powerful storm moving out of the Rockies Wednesday created near blizzard conditions in portions of the state. Transportation officials closed sections of Interstate 70 and U.S. 36. Blowing snow also contributed to a crash that closed Kansas 96 between Tribune and Leoti.
At least two school districts canceled classes Wednesday ahead of the storm.
Thursday marks the start of the cold weather rule period in Kansas, restricting utility cutoffs for nonpayment of bills.
The rule is in effect from November 1 to March 31. It prohibits shutoffs of residential electricity or natural gas service when temperatures are expected to be at or below 35 degrees over the following 24 hours.
Utilities also must contact a customer 24 hours before a disconnection, and offer a 12-month payment plan for the customer to maintain or re-establish service.