West also a weather mess, as fourth storm approaches and snow's piled up
The Associated Press, Jan. 30, 2008
The bad weather reached upstate
"This is going to be a hard, vicious slap in the face from Mother Nature," Gino Izzi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville, Ill., said Tuesday night. "The temperature drop we saw was really spectacular in a bad way."
The temperature in Buffalo, N.Y., went from a high of 54 degrees Tuesday to 21 degrees by 7 a.m. Wednesday, with winds gusting to more than 60 mph. Power was out in 40,000 homes and businesses, roads were slick and most schools in the Buffalo area were closed.
In northern Illinois, high winds downed power lines and knocked trees onto utility lines, causing nearly 14,000 customers to lose power overnight, mostly in Chicago's south suburbs, said ComEd spokeswoman Judy Rader. Service to all but 1,300 had been restored by Wednesday morning.
Thousands also were without power in
The winds and thunderstorms may have killed two people in
Fog and wind gusts as high as 70 mph created problems for air travel on Tuesday. About 350 flights had been canceled by Tuesday night at O'Hare International Airport.
Tornadoes or reports of tornadoes surfaced in several communities in the nation's midsection.
"I wouldn't call it a common occurrence to see winds this strong with this kind of snow," Izzi said. "This isn't something we see every year."
The system also dragged frigid air across the northern Plains. The Weather Service reported midday temperature Tuesday of minus-24 degrees at
"Now's when you need to have your winter survival kit," North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Aaron Hummel said.
It was as low as 50 degrees below freezing in
Though only light snow fell in western, central and eastern
"It's a little worse than your average snowstorm," said Rod Donovan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in
Some 1,500 workers went home early from the Mayo Clinic in
West expecting 4th blast
The weather week began with heavy snow pummeling mountain areas from
The storms were followed Tuesday by a third that threatened to leave up to 20 inches of snow in
A fourth storm was on the way to the interior West: "By Thursday, the next storm will be right on our doorstep. This is quite a storm system," Breidenbach said.
In the snow farther west, avalanche danger forced officials to close Interstate 90 at
More than 200 trucks were backed up at
Snow also closed highways in
Two of three snowmobilers lost in the mountains west of Denver were found late Tuesday, said Summit County sheriff's spokeswoman Paulette Horr. The third was still missing.
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