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Snowstorm Dies Down, Midwest Travel Woes Tick Up

At least four deaths were linked to the storm, including three from traffic accidents
Updated Friday, Feb. 22, 5:40 p.m. ET

Virginia Hawkins shovels snow from her driveway on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Hutchinson, Kan. (AP Photo/The Hutchinson News, Travis Morisse)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A major winter storm turned Midwest commutes into treacherous challenges Friday before the system petered out over the Great Lakes.

At least four deaths were linked to the storm, including three from traffic accidents, brought on by gusty winds and snow-covered roadways.

Places in Kansas and Missouri saw a foot or more of snow on Thursday, and spent Friday digging out and clearing its miles of roadways. Impressive totals included 18 inches in the southern Kansas town of Zenda; 17 inches in Hays, Kan.; 13 ½ inches in northeast Missouri and south-central Nebraska; and 12 inches in parts of Kansas City, Mo.

The system lost strength as it moved north and east Friday. Illinois' totals ranged from 7.5 inches in west-central Rushville to a mix of sleet and freezing rain in the St. Louis, Mo., suburbs. The town of Truman in southern Minnesota received 8 inches.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Massive Blizzard Slams Plains
Eulas Henderson was in no hurry Friday morning while clearing still-falling snow from the sidewalk outside his Detroit home. Even as he shoveled, Henderson's work was being covered.

"It's not frustrating. I enjoy it. It's the normal thing to do in the winter time," said Henderson, a 56-year-old security guard.

The storm also brought fresh snow for the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race, which is expected to draw a record field of more than 13,000 competitors and another 15,000 spectators to the northern Wisconsin city of Cable.

"It's snowing real hard and I'm seeing all kinds of cars in the ditch," said Leslie Maclin, a skier from Evanston, Ill. But she was expecting good conditions for the race Saturday.

The Minnesota State Patrol blamed the snow for over 500 accidents Friday. One driver was killed when she lost control, came to a stop in oncoming traffic and was broadsided by another vehicle in a St. Paul suburb.

A 12-year-old boy died from injuries suffered in a collision on an icy highway in northern Nebraska on Thursday. A western Iowa woman was run over Thursday by her car, which had gotten stuck on her steep, slippery driveway. And a 70-year-old woman from Wichita, Kan., died after her car slid and collided with a train.

In Ohio, which was clipped by the storm, a United plane slid off a slick runway at the Cleveland airport onto a grassy area, but no injuries were reported.

In some locations, the storm didn't live up to the hype. At the Pilot Flying J station near Interstate 29 in southwest Iowa, shift manager Kelly Malone said Friday his company had taken precautions for employees by reserving rooms at the Super 8 Motel.

"We were prepared for the worst, but it didn't happen that bad," he said. Iowa's snow totals topped out at 9.7 inches near Sioux City.

"To me it was just an average storm, but I'm a person who drives through anything," he said.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Massive Blizzard Strikes Plains


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Anyone remember the Global Cooling scare of the 70's?

It's all BS!


February 22 2013 at 5:36 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Its cold here!

February 22 2013 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How can this be, with global warming

February 22 2013 at 1:57 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to salalmo's comment

I'd explain it to you, but it would be like trying to explain calculus to a 3 year-old.

February 22 2013 at 3:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

now anyone with a brain would know the KEY WORD is GLOBAL...As in the ENTIRE earth....If i were you, id stay in school, if you are not in school, i suggest you go back....Global=EARTH.....

February 22 2013 at 4:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

We should consider ourselves lucky in every regard..no severe damage and the moisture produced is appreciated by everyone. Can I get an a-men?

February 22 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That photo at the top of the article brought back memories of 2 winters ago. I lived in Hutchinson, Kansas and my car was buried in my driveway so deep, it took 2 days to dig it out. I walked to work which was only 6 blocks away and a lot safer and easier. Actually, the supermarket was only 6 blocks the other way. Hutch isn't a very big town.

February 22 2013 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Yea and most everyone in So Ca SPEEDS up when it rains. Jeez.

February 22 2013 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well it IS winter. But I have a question. How do icy and slushy roadways kill people ? The term "driving too fast for conditions" would be more realistic

February 22 2013 at 11:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

Driving too fast for conditions might be more realistic. Driving when you should stay off the roads altogether might also be more realistic. But having lived with these conditions my whole life (I live in Michigan) sometimes you have to go out on roads that are really bad, and no matter how slowly and carefully you drive, you can go into a slide. Or someone else can go into a slide and hit you!

February 22 2013 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Thank God for good old Brooklyn. Taparet@Al.com

February 22 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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