Storms head east after heavy snow in US Mid-west

Federico Mansilla
Abril 16, 2018

Paul, Minnesota, the April monthly record for snowfall of 21.8 inches (55 cm) was surpassed on Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

Workers try to move an industrial freezer over the metro tracks near the Government Center Plaza tracks as the snow picked up in downtown Minneapolis.

"It's a cool experience for me, the best Minneapolis experience", Niko Heiligman, of Aachen, Germany, said as he braved the snow Saturday to take a walk along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

By Sunday afternoon, 879 flights had been cancelled into or out of USA airports, the website reported, including 115 flights in or out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a spring blizzard made it hard to keep runways clear and planes deiced.

Delta Airlines flight attendant Victoria Flees trudges through the snow with her bags in downtown Minneapolis after her flight to Paris was grounded along with all other planes at the city's airport. The Yankees and Tigers were rained out Saturday in Detroit and had planned to play a double-header on Sunday, but the first game of Sunday's twin bill was also postponed, leaving just the night game.

The National Weather Service predicted that a large swath of southern Minnesota, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, could get up to 20 inches of snow (51 centimeters) by the time the storm blows through on Sunday. Parts of the state that were already blanketed were getting a second helping of snow Sunday.

Authorities closed several highways in southwestern Minnesota, where no travel was advised, and driving conditions were hard across the southern half of the state.

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The National Weather Service also warned of potential coastal flooding along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and IL, where Chicago residents were warned that waves could reach as high as 5.5 metres.

In Michigan, freezing rain that began falling overnight 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 on parts of the state's Upper Peninsula by early Monday.

The storms also killed a one-year-old girl when a tree fell on a recreational vehicle where she was sleeping, the sheriff's office in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, said.

On Friday, a truck driver from Idaho lost control of his rig on snow-covered Interstate 80 in western Nebraska, near Chappell, and slammed into a stranded tractor-trailer, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

In Arkansas, a tornado ripped through the tiny Ozark Mountain town of Mountainburg on Friday, injuring at least four people.

The storm made its mark in Texas, where hail the size of hen eggs fell south of Dallas, according to meteorologist Patricia Sanchez. In Austin, fire officials said strong winds helped spread the flames after lightning struck and badly damaged two houses.

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