Billings, Mont. Portions of Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming were hit by a slow-moving snowstorm that knocked out power, closed roads and dumped up to 2 feet by Wednesday night.
Thousands of power outages were reported and some schools were closed by the storm, which began Tuesday. Drifting snow contributed to road closings, and the National Guard was called out in North Dakota to aid the Highway Patrol in rescuing stranded motorists.
By nightfall, hundreds of people in vehicles, including three buses, had been rescued with equipment ranging from snow plows to bulldozers, said Rick Robinson of the state Department of Emergency Services.
There were no reports of injuries.
As much as 11 inches of snow had fallen in southeastern Montana by Wednesday morning. Billings had received 10.8 inches and set a record for snowfall Tuesday with 9.9 inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Humphrey said.
The storm, which moved in from the Rockies overnight, dropped up to two feet of snow in parts of western and central North Dakota, and winds up to 50 mph created blizzard conditions in some areas.