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Winter Blast Triggers School Closures, Traffic Headaches (And There's More to Come)


  • National Weather Service
The worst weather of the season so far took hold of a number of Idaho communities overnight, turning highways into parking lots, causing multiple spinoffs and triggering closures at scores of schools.

Idaho State Police officials said a late-night accident on Interstate 84 near Wendell claimed the life of a truck driver from Nebraska. Ernst Winter, 50, of Lincoln, Neb., was traveling westbound in a 2016 Freightliner when his vehicle spun off the road.

School districts across southern Idaho announced closures, including in the Castleford, Filer, Jerome, Kimberly, Minidoka and Valley school districts. The College of Southern Idaho opted to remain open. Thursday is the last day of final exams before the winter semester break.

In western Idaho, the Fruitland and Greenleaf school districts canceled classes.

In eastern Idaho, a winter storm watch was in effect for Bear Lake, Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Clark, Franklin and Fremont counties. The Salmon School District decided to close schools for the day.

In north-central Idaho, U.S. 95 was blocked in both directions early Thursday about three miles south of Moscow. Meanwhile, the Asotin, Lapwai, Lewiston and Orofino school districts canceled classes,

The Sun Valley area will continue to be pounded by bad weather as a winter storm warning will remain in effect until Friday morning. Heavy snow—five to 10 inches in the valley and up to 15 inches in the mountains—is expected to fall in the next 24 hours in the Big and Little Wood River region and Sawtooth Mountains.

The National Weather Service Office in Boise says on again, off again precipitation will continue in the Treasure Valley for the next 24 hours, but a major cold snap will grip the area this weekend with highs on Saturday and Sunday in the teens and overnight lows near zero.


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