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3/25/2013 8:29:00 AM Illinois Valley deals with icy roads as spring snowstorm strikes Midwest
By The NewsTribune Staff and The Associated Press
A wide-ranging storm is burying thoughts of springtime weather across a number of Midwestern states under a blanket of snow and slush, leaving in its wake dashed Palm Sunday plans, dozens of canceled flights and treacherous roadways as it churns eastward. The National Weather Service issued storm warnings and advisories for Sunday and Monday for as far east as Pennsylvania, and officials were blaming two deaths in separate crashes in Kansas and Missouri on snow-slicked roads. In the Illinois Valley, a weather advisory was canceled early Sunday. Nevertheless, the area received about 2 inches of snow, according to a National Weather Service report based on estimated snowfall in Marseilles. La Salle County Sheriff’s Office was among the police agencies dealing with weather-related crashes starting at about 9 p.m. Sunday, several hours before ice formed on many roads (and parking lots and sidewalks) after the early-morning hours. The weather system was expected to move into Ohio, bringing between 5 to 9 inches, said Dan Hawblitzel, a weather service meteorologist in suburban Kansas City. Slick roads were also being blamed for a series of crashes on Interstate 60 north of Indianapolis that sent two people to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries. The Indiana State Police reported late Sunday that two people in a 2012 Subaru were hurt when the driver lost control while coming upon the scene of a previous crash involving a semitrailer. The Subaru hit the tractor-trailer and ended up in a ditch, police said. Authorities said both driver and passenger had life-threatening injuries and were taken to area hospitals. An update on their conditions was not immediately available. Earlier Sunday night, a jack-knifed semi and subsequent fuel leak required a hazardous materials response outside Indianapolis, officials said. The Fishers Department of Fire and Emergency Services said a tractor-trailer was southbound on Interstate 69 when its driver lost control. No one was injured. The storm was expected to weaken as it moved into Pennsylvania late Sunday and into Monday, with totals ranging from 3 to 8 inches. Before it exits off the coast of New Jersey on Monday night, the storm could leave 2 to 4 inches in that state as well as Delaware, northern Maryland and southern New York. “It’s definitely a wide-hitting system,” Hawblitzel said. To the west, parts of Colorado and northwest Kansas spent Sunday digging out from 10 to 15 inches of snow that were dumped there Saturday. Southwestern Nebraska got up to 7 inches. Winds gusting at speeds of up to 45 mph created snow drifts of 2 to 3 feet in the three states, said Ryan Husted, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Goodland, Kan. “We have pretty much cleared out. Sunny skies. It’s starting to melt a little bit,” Husted said Sunday. Transportation officials reopened several closed highways, including a stretch of Interstate 70 spanning from Denver to Colby, Kan. The storm dumped 7 to 9 inches of snow from eastern Kansas into central Missouri before tapering off Sunday morning, said Hawblitzel. In the central Missouri town of Columbia, TV station KOMU was briefly evacuated Sunday morning because of high winds and a heavy buildup of snow on the broadcast tower.
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