Snow storm wreaks havoc in US Midwest
ATLANTA — A powerful snowstorm barrelled east through the Midwest yesterday, bringing with it more precipitation and gusty winds and leaving behind a trail of significant damage, large snow drifts and subarctic temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.
Winter storm warnings and advisories yesterday extended as far west as Illinois, as far east as Pennsylvania, and as far south as northern Alabama and Georgia.
Meanwhile, residents of the upper Midwest who braved at-times blizzard conditions on Saturday faced the prospect last night of wind chills dipping, in spots, as low as 30 degrees below zero. This comes after up to 23 inches of snow fell in parts of Minnesota and as many as 18.5 inches in Wisconsin since Friday.
After prompting the closure of highways in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and elsewhere a day earlier, the storm caused havoc with air travel yesterday.
About 1,375 flights in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare airport had been cancelled as of 4:45 p.m. (5:45 p.m. ET), with delays for travelers heading to and from the Windy City averaging around 45 minutes, the Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement. Another 300 flights were cancelled at nearby Midway airport.
The headaches, though, went far beyond Chicago, with excessive delays reported as far east as New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport and Boston’s Logan Airport, according to Flightstats.com.
The pounding snow caused the roof of the 64,000-seat Metrodome in Minneapolis to “deflate” yesterday morning, Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske said. Workers wielding shovels could be seen clearing the roof of the heavy white stuff, while photos from inside the darkened stadium showed much of the field covered with snow that fell from a gaping hole in the dome.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency for 72 counties to facilitate the movement of emergency resources and personnel who were activated Saturday, he said in a statement. We Energies reported 10,000 power outages across the state Sunday, said Barry McNulty, a spokesman for the company.
In Iowa, snow had subsided in some areas but emergency workers were coping with more than 1,000 power outages, a state emergency spokesman said.
The reach of the storm system continues to expand. Hard freeze warnings, for instance, extended as far south as Florida, with the weather service forecasting 13-degree wind chills for tonight in Tallahassee.
Still, not everyone in the United States was shivering. Parts of southern California were experiencing record-warm temperatures with high temperatures Sunday above 80 degrees. (CNN)