Snow­storm forces can­celed flights, road clo­sures

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY COREY WIL­LIAMS As­so­ci­ated Press The New York Times con­trib­uted to this re­port.

A plane car­ry­ing 129 peo­ple skid­ded Satur­day from a slick Chicago run­way and a plow driver was killed when his truck rolled over out­side Kansas City fol­low­ing a win­ter storm that cov­ered many parts of the Mid­west in snow and ice.

No in­juries were re­ported on the United Air­lines flight at O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port as it ar­rived Satur­day morn­ing from Phoenix, Chicago Fire of­fi­cials said. The mas­sive storm which dumped 10 inches of snow on some ar­eas in the Mid­west prompted the can­cel­la­tion of nearly 1,000 flights at Chicago’s air­ports. The av­er­age de­lay at O’Hare was nearly an hour Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Kansas De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion snow­plow Stephen Windler, 25, died about 6 a.m. Satur­day on U.S. High­way 69, ac­cord­ing to the Wi­chita Ea­gle. A po­lice crash re­port says his truck “trav­eled to the right, travers­ing the shoul­der and drove into the grass” be­fore it rolled over. Windler was thrown from the ve­hi­cle which landed on top of him.

The storm moved Satur­day to­ward the North­east and New Eng­land. Some north­ern parts of New Eng­land could see up to 18 inches of snow.

A 15-ve­hi­cle crash blocked a section of In­ter­state 55 in south­east­ern Mis­souri near Ste. Genevieve Satur­day af­ter­noon and driv­ers were urged to find an al­ter­na­tive route. In Detroit, many motorists were mov­ing well be­low posted speed lim­its along free­ways due to slushy con­di­tions. Am­trak can­celed some trains Satur­day from Chicago to Washington and New York and be­tween New York and Bos­ton and Penn­syl­va­nia on Sun­day.

In Ne­braska, au­thor­i­ties closed Omaha’s Ep­p­ley Air­field on Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter a South­west Air­lines plane slid off an ice-slicked run­way. No one was in­jured. The air­field later re­opened.

The snow was part of a wall of haz­ardous weather that moved from the Dako­tas across the Great Lakes states. The storm brought snow, ice and strong winds, fol­lowed by deep cold. The high­est snow­fall to­tals were ex­pected in Ver­mont, New Hamp­shire and Maine, which could see up to 18 inches.

“It’s a com­pli­cated storm,” said Rich Otto, a Na­tional Weather Ser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist, told The New York Times. He said the “kitchen sink” of mixed pre­cip­i­ta­tion was caused by a com­bi­na­tion of cold air mov­ing down from Canada and low pres­sure coming in from the south.

The storm con­tin­ued to move briskly and was not ex­pected to linger in the North­east. Otto said he ex­pected the worst to move past New York City, where only 2 or 3 inches were fore­cast, by Sun­day morn­ing. In New Eng­land, the storm was ex­pected to pass by Sun­day night.

As with any storm, Na­tional Weather Ser­vice of­fices across the coun­try were busy pro­vid­ing de­tailed fore­casts and up­dates. But this time their me­te­o­rol­o­gists were do­ing it without pay, a ca­su­alty of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment shut­down.

“There’s def­i­nitely a drain on morale,” said Ray Martin, a se­nior me­te­o­rol­o­gist in the Weather Ser­vice of­fice serv­ing Washington and Bal­ti­more. He said he knew col­leagues with young chil­dren or a new house who were strug­gling. “There’s a lit­tle bit of not feel­ing ap­pre­ci­ated,” he added.

Some Mid­west­ern­ers weren’t go­ing to let a lit­tle win­ter weather keep them from go­ing out­side.

In down­town Detroit, Ce­leste Trem­mel was out train­ing for a marathon amid heavy and steady snow­fall.

“When you run a marathon, you run no mat­ter the weather,” said Trem­mel, who plans to run a March marathon in South Carolina.

Run­ning in snow is “like run­ning in sand, so you go a lot slower and it’s a lot more work,” she said. “I’m re­ally tired … but 40 de­grees, wind and hail is worse.”

Fur­ther east, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Al­bany, New York, said snow could fall at a rate of 1 to 3 inches an hour, cre­at­ing “dif­fi­cult to im­pos­si­ble travel con­di­tions” in ar­eas.

THE HIGH­EST SNOW­FALL TO­TALS WERE EX­PECTED IN VER­MONT, NEW HAMP­SHIRE AND MAINE, WHICH COULD SEE UP TO 18 INCHES.

JOHN J. KIM AP

Vol­un­teers shovel side­walks on South Wabash Av­enue in the Chatham neigh­bor­hood Satur­day in Chicago. A win­ter storm dumped 10 of snow in some ar­eas of the Mid­west.

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