Winter storm Bella dumps 16 inches of snow on the Midwest

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hundreds of flights cancelled as winter storm Bella sweeps through Chicago.

Nov. 20, 2015: Jim Paulson, of Sioux Falls, shovels part of his driveway before using the snow blower to clear the rest during the first snow of the season in Sioux Falls. (AP) CHICAGO – The first significant wintry storm of the season blanketed parts of the Midwest with a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous conditions as some travelers prepared to depart for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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. While winter has not officially begun, the shovels and snowblowers were out from South Dakota and southern Minnesota, to Iowa, Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Winter weather advisories were posted for much of Lower Michigan and far northern Indiana, including Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing, according to the National Weather Service. About 60 miles northwest of Chicago, the village of Capron had received 14.6 inches by midmorning Saturday, spurring village employee Robert Lukes into action clearing sidewalks with his snowblower in the community of about 1,400 people. 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.

The snowfall is “right on track” for the season, said Richard Otto, lead forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center. The Illinois Tollway, which maintains interstate tollways in 11 counties of the state, said it had 185 snowplows ready to go and 84,000 tons of salt stockpiled for the winter. 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. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, reached 11 degrees Saturday and the town of Estherville in northern Iowa was even colder at 6 degrees with a wind chill of minus 4, the weather service said.

Nathan Ludwig said troopers in northern and western Iowa were seeing many cars in ditches, especially near Mason City and Council Bluffs, the Des Moines Register reported.

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