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The Nebraska Department of Transportation announced it will close westbound Interstate 80 at Ogallala Wednesday in advance of a predicted blizzard.

I-80 will close at 11 a.m. CT. Travel on secondary roads west of Ogallala is not advised, the department said.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Nebraska Panhandle with forecasts of 18 to 24 inches of snow possible and 50-60 mph winds.

Blizzard conditions in Colorado caused about 1,000 flights to be canceled at the Denver airport. That included all flights out of both Omaha and Lincoln.

On Tuesday, Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an emergency declaration in preparation for an impending winter storm in western Nebraska and anticipated flooding in other parts of the state.

The declaration allows the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency to coordinate response and recovery activities with local governments and other state agencies and groups. It also allows local governments to request assistance from the state if they need it.

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The governor's office reminded motorists to exercise care.

Significant flooding is possible along the Loup, Platte, Elkhorn and Missouri rivers.


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