A deadly storm sys­tem

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff Bae­nen and Rick Cal­la­han

churns through the cen­tral part of the na­tion and blan­kets parts of the Up­per Mid­west in heavy snow­fall and ice.

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — Min­nesotans slogged through a mid-April storm Sun­day that dumped 2 feet of snow on parts of the Up­per Mid­west, coated roads with ice and bat­tered ar­eas far­ther south with pow­er­ful winds and tor­na­does be­fore plow­ing to­ward the North­east and Mid-Atlantic U.S.

The storm sys­tem prompted En­bridge En­ergy to tem­po­rar­ily shut­ter twin oil and gas pipe­lines in Michi­gan that may have been re­cently dam­aged by a ship an­chor.

The Line 5 pipe­lines were tem­po­rar­ily shut­tered Sun­day due to a power out­age at En­bridge’s ter­mi­nal in Su­pe­rior, Wis., En­bridge spokesman Ryan Duffy told The Detroit News.

En­bridge de­cided to shut down the twin pipe­lines un­til weather con­di­tions im­prove in the Straits of Mack­inac, which links Lake Huron and Lake Michi­gan, Duffy said.

At least three deaths were blamed on the storm sys­tem, which stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes. Storms also knocked down trees, caused air­port de­lays and dropped hail on the Caroli­nas.

At Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul In­ter­na­tional Air­port, where more than 13 inches of snow had fallen, 230 flights were can­celed Sun­day. Two run­ways were open, but winds were still strong and planes were be­ing de-iced, spokesman Patrick Ho­gan said. On Satur­day, the storm caused the can­cel­la­tion of nearly 470 flights at the air­port.

The pro­longed win­try weather is “start­ing to beat ev­ery­body down,” said Erik Ordal, who lives in down­town Min­neapo­lis. Ordal, who grew up in South Dakota, said he is used to the cold, snowy weather “but I’m cer­tainly ready for some warmth.”

Two north­east­ern Wis­con­sin com­mu­ni­ties, Tiger­ton and Big Falls, re­ceived more than 2 feet of snow over the week­end, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Green Bay re­ported. Parts of the state that were al­ready blan­keted were get­ting a sec­ond help­ing on Sun­day.

The heavy snow caused part of a ho­tel roof to col­lapse over a pool at a ho­tel near Green Bay, but no one was hurt.

The storm fi­nally let up in South Dakota, al­low­ing the air­port in Sioux Falls to re­open for the first time since Thurs­day. In­ter­states 90 and 29 in parts of eastern South Dakota also re­opened, and no-travel ad­vi­sories were lifted across the state bor­der in south­west­ern Min­nesota.

In Michi­gan, freez­ing rain that be­gan fall­ing overnight had left roads treach­er­ous and cut power to hun­dreds of thou­sands of homes and busi­nesses by mid­day Sun­day even as heavy snow was fore­cast to dump a foot or more of snow on parts of the state’s Up­per Penin­sula by early Mon­day.

The air­port in Char­lotte, N.C., tweeted Sun­day that se­vere weather had forced air traf­fic con­trollers to leave their tower. Mean­while, tele­vi­sion sta­tions in Char­lotte were post­ing im­ages of large hail.

The three deaths blamed blamed on the weather: A sleep­ing 2-year-old girl in Louisiana was killed when a tree fell on her fam­ily’s recre­ational ve­hi­cle early Satur­day. A Wis­con­sin woman was killed when she lost con­trol of her mini­van on slick roads and veered into an on­com­ing SUV. And an Idaho truck driver was killed when his semi­trailer struck a semi in western Ne­braska that had been stranded on a high­way by the bad weather.

In Arkansas, a tor­nado ripped through the tiny Ozark Moun­tain town of Moun­tain­burg on Fri­day, in­jur­ing at least four peo­ple. In Texas, egg-sized hail fell south of Dal­las, ac­cord­ing to me­te­o­rol­o­gist Pa­tri­cia Sanchez.

And an­other round of snow is pos­si­ble mid­week in the Up­per Mid­west, said me­te­o­rol­o­gist Eric Aha­sic at the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Chan­has­sen, Minn.

“It’s not go­ing to be as much snow as this one, thank­fully,” Aha­sic said.

JOE AHLQUIST/ROCHESTER POST-BULLETIN

Paul Tucht­en­hagen uses a snow blower Sun­day to give Le­land, 2, and Ephram, 5, a win­try ride in Rochester, Minn.

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