Spring? Yeah, right: Snow for Midwest, Northeast

AP News
Posted: Mar 23, 2011 9:27 PM
Spring? Yeah, right: Snow for Midwest, Northeast

Spring can't seem to upstage winter in the Northeast and parts of the nation's midsection, as a far-reaching storm on Wednesday brought up to a foot of snow to areas from the Dakotas to upstate New York.

Scores of schools closed or delayed opening in Wisconsin, northeastern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northwest New Jersey because of the weather. Authorities in Wisconsin blamed icy conditions for the death of a woman whose car skidded off the road.

Communities in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains were expecting more than 11 inches by the time the storm moved out late Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported.

In western Pennsylvania, a possible tornado destroyed some homes and tore the roofs off some 30 houses and two schools late Wednesday afternoon in Hempfield Township, said Westmoreland County deputy emergency management coordinator Dan Stevens. Five people suffered cuts, scrapes and bruises, he said.

Golf-ball-sized hail was reported as well, said meteorologist Rich Kane in Pittsburgh.

A line of thunderstorms destroyed a mobile home in Tennessee on Wednesday night and trees and power lines were down in White County, emergency officials said.

In parts of western New York, up to 9 inches of snow has fallen and up to a foot more could fall upstate by Thursday. Parts of New Jersey are also expected to get more snow overnight into Thursday morning.

The northern Midwest was getting its share of spring snow Wednesday.

In Wisconsin, a 69-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle slid off an icy highway in Vernon County Tuesday night. Sheriff John Spears said roads in the area were "very hazardous" at the time Gretchen Whittaker lost control, crossed the center line on Highway 27 and rolled into a ditch.

WAOW-TV said dispatchers took calls from more than 50 drivers who were stuck in the snow in Marathon County.

In South Dakota, up to 10 inches of snow had fallen by Wednesday morning, and more than a foot of heavy, wet snow was on the ground in some parts of North Dakota.

Michigan's Saginaw and Tuscola Counties had up to 7 inches, and the weather service predicted waves of up to 25 feet on Lake Superior.

The storm shook things up in Nebraska and Iowa and instead of snow it dumped golf-ball-sized hail stones in eastern Nebraska and the bordering city of Logan, Iowa.