MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Officials have closed Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to arriving and departing flights as a powerful storm system sweeps through the central U.S.

Airport officials cite the combination of heavy snow and low visibility Saturday. They say the snow is coming down too fast for plows to keep the runways clear or for crews to keep the planes de-iced.

The airport shut down flight operations Saturday afternoon. Airport spokesman Pat Hogan says that officials hope to reopen at least one runway sometime Saturday night, weather permitting.

Around 7 inches of snow had fallen at the airport by mid-afternoon.

A storm system stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes has dumped a foot of snow on parts of the Upper Midwest. At least three deaths have been attributed to the storm.

Get the '98.1 Insider' Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest Minnesota & music news in your inbox a couple times a week. If we're not awesome, drop us like a hot potato.

Watch More News on Your Favorite 98.1 Stars