Early Season Snowstorm Slams Midwest Ahead of Thanksgiving Travel

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After the snow, Midwest gets deep freeze.

A deep freeze set in across the Midwest on Sunday with low temperatures forecast in the single digits and a few below zero, turning the season’s first major snow into ice that made some roads treacherous to travel.Illinois: People fired up snowblowers and dug out their shovels Saturday after the first significant snowstorm of the season dumped between a few inches and 20 inches of snow across the Upper Midwest, blanketing a swath from South Dakota to Michigan. The National Weather Service said the snow, which first fell in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa on Friday, would head northeast into Canada late Saturday after moving through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

An event to be held Tuesday will discuss the impact extreme weather and climate change have on small businesses.(Photo: Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo About 50,000 people across the area were without power around 9:30 p.m., according to DTE Energy. More than 130 flights were cancelled Sunday into and out of the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com. In Minneapolis, where dozens of people huddled around fires to stay warm at an encampment outside a police station to protest the fatal shooting of a black man by officers there last week, the temperature was expected to reach 18 degrees early Sunday.

About 60 miles northwest of Chicago, the village of Capron had received 14.6 inches by Saturday morning, spurring village employee Robert Lukes into action clearing sidewalks with his snowblower in the community of about 1,400 people. Southside True Value Hardware manager Matt Krienke said business had been good in the days leading up to the storm in the Janesville, but that it had become “very, very, very, very slick”.

He said the snowfall was wet, with a layer of slush underneath that made the work slow going. “It’s a typical first snow for us, but it’s a pain in the butt. For much of the afternoon, Detroit and the immediately surrounding area avoided the snow that was covering the rest of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. For all of Saturday elsewhere, however, it was like a shaken snow globe. “I’m looking outside, and she’s coming down — and has been all day,” said Uriah Campbell, a sales associate at Summit Sports in Brighton, where customers were coming in to prep for cold weather, skiing and snowboarding. “It’s big, white flakes on the fall and then wet on the ground.” Drivers will need to get refamiliar with winter driving: Slow down as visibility drops, watch out for icy roadways and keep something to scrape windshields, Elliott said. “People are used to driving in the summer conditions,” Elliott said. “Once a couple of snowstorms move through, you get back into that mindset. [But] the first one’s always a little bit tough.” The Michigan Department of Transportation is also watching the onset of snow closely, and various counties have salt and truck plows at the ready, said Diane Cross, an MDOT spokesperson. Even on Sunday and Monday, scattered snowstorms are possible as the temperatures stay below the 30s, meaning the snow “is not going to melt off really quick,” Elliott added. Alizha Demunck, a clerk at the city’s Little Chocolates candy store, says the weather didn’t slow weekend shoppers from getting handmade chocolates.

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