The Norman Transcript

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February 23, 2013

Winter weather woes

DES MOINES, Iowa — A snowstorm left behind varying amounts of snow and ice across the Midwest, but those areas affected were united by one thing Friday morning: difficult travel conditions.

Powerful wind gusts created large snow drifts on many roadways, making navigating the slick conditions a challenge. Accidents and slide-offs were reported from Kansas to Michigan as the storm pushed east Friday.

Strong gusts off Lake Michigan caused problems for commuters in eastern Wisconsin. Chicago’s more than 280 snowplows salted and cleared the city’s streets, while commuters slogged through slush to get to their offices.

But in some locations, the storm didn’t live up to the hype. At the Pilot Flying J station near Interstate 29 in southwest Iowa, shift manager Kelly Malone said Friday his company had taken precautions by reserving seven rooms for employees at the nearby Super 8 Motel.

“We were prepared for the worst, but it didn’t happen that bad. To me it was just an average storm, but I’m a person who drives through anything,” he said. Iowa’s snow totals topped out at 9.7 inches near Sioux City.

About 270 flights in and out of Chicago’s two airports were canceled Friday morning, according to the airline tracking website FlightAware.com. Kansas City International Airport and Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Mo., both reopened Friday morning, but cancellations were possible. Lambert spokesman Jeff Lee told KMOX that many flights were being affected by snow in other cities.

There were some impressive snow totals — 17 inches in Hays, Kan.; 13 inches in northern Oklahoma; 13 1/2 inches in south central Nebraska; and 10 inches near Kansas City, Mo.

Other areas had accumulation more in line with a regular winter system. Wisconsin topped out at 6 inches in New London. Minnesota ranged from 2 to 6 inches of snow, with Dodge County getting 8 inches. Northern Indiana’s top total was 4 inches in Crown Point, close to the Illinois border, and Indianapolis was dealing with ice-coated surfaces.

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