The National Weather Service office in Boulder, Colorado, said parts of the state were experiencing blizzard conditions, making travel risky.
Heavy snow dropped in parts of South Dakota on Wednesday, and soon began slamming other states, including Wyoming, Colorado and Minnesota.
More than 30,000 homes and businesses were without power in Minnesota, 14,200 in Iowa and 22,700 in MI by midday on Thursday, according to PowerOutages.us, a website that tracks power outages.
No deaths were reported from the storm, but thousands of airline flights were canceled from Denver to Chicago, and thousands of stranded motorists and vehicle crashes were reported throughout the area.
The blizzard, dubbed a "bomb cyclone" because of its rapidly intensifying funnel shape, is the second one to hit the region over the past month.
"We are waiting to see what happens when the snow melts", she said, noting that warm temperatures since then have thawed the ground and could result in less flooding.
Minneapolis schools will be closed Friday in response to the storm, and over 1,700 flights have been canceled over the last couple of days due to the storm.
Wind gusts upwards of 100 miles per hour were reported Wednesday in eastern Colorado, Hurley said.
"This storm is going to be unsafe", Patrol Maj. "Our producers that are out there are putting in 18-20 hours a day because in weather like this you have to be out there checking mama cows", he explained. And thundersnow struck parts of South Dakota, including the capital city of Pierre, according to the report. "It's essentially a thunderstorm, but it's cold enough for snow", Mike Connelly, a weather service meteorologist, told the Associated Press.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts extended five weather-related executive orders until May 15 to help communities gain fast access to the state's emergency resources.
In Minnesota, the state highway patrol said it responded to more than 500 crashes on Wednesday and Thursday, and the National Guard was called in to rescue stranded motorists.
And it wasn't the only major weather threat in Wednesday's forecast, with a risk of wildfires in parts of the Southwest, where dry conditions and wind gusts near hurricane strength could push any spark to disaster. It's expected to dump more than 2 feet of snow on parts of South Dakota and Minnesota. The weather service issued a high wind warning for the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.
"The heaviest snow so far is piling up in South and North Dakota, with some areas getting 17 inches, and more is on the way", he said. In southern New Mexico, the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range closed Wednesday because of the high winds. Several snow-packed highways remain closed in Nebraska, and forecasters say unseasonably low temperatures will linger through the weekend. Last month's flooding swamped 455 houses and thousands of acres of farmland in his region.