UPDATE: 1/8 7:15 p.m.: I-80 is shut down from Grand Island to Lexington. Highway 30 is impassable along the same stretch.

UPDATE 1/8 4:35 P.M.: Highway 30 from Grand Island to Lexington is marked by the NDOT as impassable.

UPDATE 1/8 4:15 P.M.: The westbound lanes of I-80 are now closed from Grand Island to Kearney.

UPDATE 1/8 4:07 P.M.: The Nebraska Department of Transportation now lists I-80 between Lexington and Cozad as impassable and Highway 30 between Elm Creek and Lexington as impassable.

KEARNEY, Neb. - Interstate 80 is closed from Kearney to Lexington as a severe winter storm hits Central Nebraska.

In a social media post, the Nebraska State Patrol said the closure was due to whiteout conditions. Travel is discouraged across much of the rest of the area, including in Phelps County.

"Travel is not recommended on the highways and roadways here in Phelps County," Sheriff Gene Samuelson said in a statement. "There have been many wrecks and vehicles in the ditch already. Visibility is near zero in places."

The weather station at Kearney Regional Airport reported a wind gust of 41 mph just before 3:00 p.m. The National Weather Service says heaviest snow has already fallen, but light snow will continue to fall until midnight and get blown by the high winds. Visibility has decreased significantly and is causing several accidents.

A semi jack-knifed blocking both lanes of Interstate 80 near Elm Creek at noon. The lanes were back open by 1:00. Around 12:30, a westbound semi turned sideways near Lexington. That crash was cleared by 2:00. The Nebraska State Patrol said it had responded to 50 weather-related incidents by 1:00.