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Another powerful winter storm targets midwestern US (+video)

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Tim Chojnacki, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said it planned to have salt trucks on the roads before the storm arrived in the Show-Me State in hopes that the precipitation would largely melt upon impact.

Much of Kansas was expected to get up to a foot of snow, which many rural residents welcomed after nearly a year of drought.

Jerry and Diane McReynolds spent part of Wednesday putting out more hay and straw for newborn calves at their farm near Woodston in north central Kansas. The storm made extra work, but Diane McReynolds said it would help their winter wheat, pastures and dried-up ponds.

"In the city you hear they don't want the snow and that sort of thing, and I am thinking, 'Yes, we do,' and they don't realize that we need it," she said. "We have to have it or their food cost in the grocery store is going to go very high. We have to have this. We pray a lot for it."

Meanwhile, a separate snow storm caught many drivers by surprise in California, leaving hundreds stranded on mountain highways. A 35-mile stretch of Highway 58 between Mojave and Bakersfield was closed Wednesday, and several school districts closed. No injuries were reported.

Schools also were closed in northern Arizona and Colorado with snow there. Mindy Crane, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said hundreds of plows had been deployed for what was expected to be one of the most significant snow storms of the season.

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