Flights canceled, roads treacherous amid spring snowstorms

All flights were grounded Saturday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a spring blizzard made it difficult to keep runways clear and planes deiced.

Posted: Apr 15, 2018 7:50 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hundreds of flights have been canceled and roadways are treacherous in several Midwestern states as a deadly storm system stretching from Gulf Coast to Great Lakes rolls across the central U.S., bringing heavy snow, strong winds, rain and hail.

All flights were grounded Saturday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a spring blizzard made it difficult to keep runways clear and planes deiced. Nearly 470 flights were canceled before one runway reopened shortly after 10 p.m., according to a spokesman. Blizzard conditions also forced the airport in South Dakota's biggest city, Sioux Falls, to remain closed for a second straight day.

The Minnesota Twins home game against the Chicago White Sox was snowed out Saturday, marking the first back-to-back postponements of baseball games in the stadium's nine seasons. Sunday's game was also called off because of the storm, which by Saturday night had buried Minneapolis under more than 13 inches of snow (33 centimeters). The Yankees and Tigers were rained out Saturday in Detroit.

Authorities closed several highways in southwestern Minnesota, where no travel was advised, and driving conditions were difficult across the southern half of the state. The National Weather Service predicted that a large swath of southern Minnesota, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, could get up to 20 inches of snow (51 centimeters) by the time the storm blows through on Sunday.

"It's a cool experience for me, the best Minneapolis experience," Niko Heiligman, of Aachen, Germany, said as he braved the snow Saturday to take a walk along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. "I'm only here for the weekend, so I guess that's how it goes. There's snow and it's cold. So it's good."

The weather is expected to persist through Sunday in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan before moving into New York state and New England.

Up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow feel in parts of northern Wisconsin, with another 14 inches (36 centimeters) expected by Sunday evening. Winds of up to 55 mph (88.5 kph) caused blowing and drifting snow, along with ice shoves in Green Bay.

The National Weather Service also warned of potential coastal flooding along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and Illinois, where Chicago residents were warned that waves could reach as high as 18 feet (5.5 meters).

Snow and wind gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) were whipping through parts of South Dakota for a second straight day Saturday, causing blizzard conditions that made travel all but impossible. While the blizzard warning was lifted in the western part of the state, it remained in effect for far South Dakota on Sunday. Several inches of snow fell in various parts of the state, including 18 inches (46 centimeters) in Huron.

Powerful winds knocked out power to thousands of customers in Michigan, which was expected to get more snow and ice through the weekend.

Two storm-related deaths occurred early Saturday. In Louisiana, winds downed a tree onto a mobile home in Haughton, killing a sleeping 2-year-old girl inside, according to the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office. In Wisconsin, a woman was killed when she lost control of the minivan she was driving and struck an oncoming SUV near Lewiston. Three passengers in the minvan and the SUV driver were hospitalized.

On Friday, a truck driver from Idaho lost control of his rig on snow-covered Interstate 80 in western Nebraska, near Chappell, and slammed into a stranded tractor-trailer, according to the Nebraska State Patrol. He died at the scene.

In Arkansas, a tornado ripped through the tiny Ozark Mountain town of Mountainburg on Friday, injuring at least four people. Video showed uprooted trees, overturned cars, damaged buildings and downed power lines. Powerful winds also damaged several buildings at the University of Central Arkansas, though no injuries were reported there.

The storm made its mark in Texas, where hail the size of hen eggs fell south of Dallas, according to meteorologist Patricia Sanchez. In Austin, fire officials said strong winds helped spread the flames after lightning struck and badly damaged two houses.

___

Associated Press writers Chevel Johnson in New Orleans, Jamie Stengle in Dallas, Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska, Don Babwin and Erin Gartner in Chicago, and Tom Davies in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22947

Reported Deaths: 977
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7695581
Ramsey2698110
Stearns199512
Nobles14963
Anoka128963
Dakota120249
Olmsted58210
Washington57630
Kandiyohi4761
Rice4232
Clay41625
Scott3832
Todd2960
Wright2801
Mower2311
Sherburne2222
Carver1892
Benton1733
Steele1490
Blue Earth1261
Martin1265
St. Louis11714
Freeborn1020
Unassigned9410
Pine890
Nicollet827
Winona7815
Carlton730
Cottonwood690
Watonwan640
Otter Tail630
Goodhue603
Polk592
Crow Wing591
Chisago541
Itasca548
Dodge460
Le Sueur441
Meeker440
Chippewa441
Morrison410
Jackson390
Douglas390
Lyon380
Murray360
Becker360
Isanti320
McLeod300
Waseca250
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Wabasha170
Fillmore171
Pennington170
Swift170
Sibley150
Beltrami140
Brown142
Cass132
Faribault130
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Wadena80
Pope80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Big Stone40
Red Lake40
Redwood40
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Lac qui Parle30
Grant30
Houston20
Roseau20
Hubbard10
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18559

Reported Deaths: 506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3930118
Woodbury267232
Black Hawk172443
Linn94176
Marshall88215
Dallas87517
Buena Vista7020
Johnson6078
Muscatine54941
Wapello5456
Crawford4892
Tama40026
Scott35210
Louisa34210
Dubuque33418
Jasper25816
Pottawattamie2348
Sioux2130
Washington1858
Wright1450
Allamakee1204
Plymouth1191
Warren1160
Story991
Mahaska918
Poweshiek898
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines591
Boone570
Taylor490
Guthrie463
Cedar461
Clarke450
Benton391
Monroe385
Jones360
Iowa350
Shelby340
Clayton323
Osceola320
Buchanan320
Webster321
Marion310
Hamilton290
Madison271
Fayette260
Cerro Gordo251
Monona240
Cherokee240
Lee240
Winneshiek230
Davis200
Grundy190
Lyon190
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Sac170
Dickinson160
Mills160
Hardin160
Hancock160
Humboldt150
Butler150
Delaware150
Appanoose143
Ida140
Keokuk140
Greene130
Clay130
Howard120
Audubon121
Emmet120
Lucas120
Cass110
Jackson110
Page110
Winnebago110
Franklin100
Pocahontas100
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Kossuth90
Chickasaw80
Adair80
Union70
Adams70
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
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Calhoun20
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Decatur10
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Lingering showers Thursday AM will turn to sunshine by the afternoon
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