6 Dead as Blizzard Rages in Great Plains
Snow covers eastern New Mexico to Kansas
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2011 7:52 AM CST
A motorist negotiates a slick road in Placitas, N.M., on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
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(Newser) – It's not the kind of White Christmas most people had in mind: Six have died in a blizzard that began yesterday and has been raging from eastern New Mexico to Kansas. Highways have been shut down in five states as the storm moves deeper into the Great Plains today. The AP reports that four people were killed yesterday after their car collided with a pickup truck in eastern New Mexico, an area that rarely sees winter conditions this extreme; a guard and inmate also died in a prison van crash in eastern Colorado.

Weather forecasters are declaring pre-holiday travel will be difficult—if not impossible—throughout the area. And understandably so: Western Kansas is buried beneath 10 inches of snow, with more on the way. It's a shocking change: The country has seen little snow (with one exception) this season, and many of the areas hit hard yesterday enjoyed relatively balmy 60-degree temperatures just 24 hours earlier.