MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A major winter storm turned Midwest commutes into treacherous challenges Friday before the system petered out over the Great Lakes.
At least four deaths were linked to the storm, including three from traffic accidents, brought on by gusty winds and snow-covered roadways.
Places in Kansas and Missouri saw a foot or more of snow on Thursday, and spent Friday digging out and clearing its miles of roadways. Impressive totals included 18 inches in the southern Kansas town of Zenda; 17 inches in Hays, Kan.; 13 ½ inches in northeast Missouri and south-central Nebraska; and 12 inches in parts of Kansas City, Mo.
The system lost strength as it moved north and east Friday. Illinois' totals ranged from 7.5 inches in west-central Rushville to a mix of sleet and freezing rain in the St. Louis, Mo., suburbs. The town of Truman in southern Minnesota received 8 inches.
Eulas Henderson was in no hurry Friday morning while clearing still-falling snow from the sidewalk outside his Detroit home. Even as he shoveled, Henderson's work was being covered.
"It's not frustrating. I enjoy it. It's the normal thing to do in the winter time," said Henderson, a 56-year-old security guard.
The storm also brought fresh snow for the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race, which is expected to draw a record field of more than 13,000 competitors and another 15,000 spectators to the northern Wisconsin city of Cable.
"It's snowing real hard and I'm seeing all kinds of cars in the ditch," said Leslie Maclin, a skier from Evanston, Ill. But she was expecting good conditions for the race Saturday.