LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued an emergency declaration to allow state funds to be used for the response to a spring blizzard that has swept most of the state.

Ricketts issued the declaration Saturday morning. His office says the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is working to get a temporary communications tower to an area of north-central Nebraska after its dispatch tower was toppled in 60 mph winds. Blaine, Garfield, Greeley, Loup, Sherman, Thomas, Valley and Wheeler counties are affected by the loss of the tower.

The blizzard, which hit Friday, led to road closures and left scores of motorists stranded. Big Springs and Sidney in western Nebraska have opened shelters for those stranded.

State Emergency Management Assistant Director Bryan Tuma urged residents to stay off the roads, many of which were still unsafe for travel Saturday.