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Winter storm pounds Oklahoma

A blustery winter storm that dumped 4 to 8 inches of snow was blamed for one traffic death before it blew out of the state Saturday afternoon.

Wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour drifted snow on roads and created poor visibility for motorists, causing several traffic crashes. The fierce gusts produced wind chills below zero in many parts of the state.

Most of Oklahoma was under a winter weather advisory through Saturday afternoon, when narrow bands of snow continued to blow in southeastern Oklahoma. The storm, traveling in a line from Shawnee to Ardmore, pushed out of the state toward the east.

Visibility was reduced to below one mile on some roads.

``The side streets and interstates are bad,'' said Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Kevin Southerland. ``I don't recommend anybody going anywhere unless they just have to.''

Slick roads caused several accidents across the state, including a deadly crash on Interstate 35 in McClain County.

Christina M. Potvin, 27, of The Colony, Texas, died late Friday after she lost control of her car and drove into oncoming traffic. Five others received minor injuries in the three-vehicle crash, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

A 15-car pileup on the Lake Hefner Parkway in northwest Oklahoma City backed up for two miles Friday night, police said.

In Major County, 13 passengers of a pickup truck and camper trailer fell out when the vehicle slid off the road late Friday. The truck and camper flipped twice, then the driver fled the scene, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Three of the 13 passengers, all from Ninguna, Mexico, were seriously injured in the crash, troopers said.

And in Kay County, a Texas woman was severely injured in a rollover caused by freezing rain on Interstate 35 late Friday, troopers said. Keisha Jones, 24, of Desoto, Texas, was a passenger in a vehicle that slid off the interstate and flipped.

A mixture of rain, sleet and snow fell in southeastern Oklahoma. Snow and sleet dumped on the rest of the state.

Northeastern Oklahoma received 4 to 8 inches of snow, while southeast and western Oklahoma received about one inch. Temperatures were mainly in the teens and the 20s.

Wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour in western Oklahoma caused wind chills to dip to 10 degrees below zero, the National Weather Service said.

Temperatures were expected to remain cold through the weekend. Sunday's highs will be in the 20s and 30s, the National Weather Service said.

The storm was part of a huge system that spread across the middle of the country, canceling or delaying some flights in Dallas and Chicago and sending cars sliding into ditches and each other.

Up to 2 feet of snow was possible by Sunday morning on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the National Weather Service said.

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