Another Spring Snowstorm Grounds Flights And Snarls Traffic

Thursday, April 12th 2007, 8:02 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Light snow dusted parts of the upper Midwest on Thursday, a day after a spring storm grounded hundreds of flights, postponed a baseball game and coated roads with ice, leaving six people dead.

``I think it's terrible, and it's the reason why I'm never living in the Midwest again after this year,'' said Molly Gray, 22, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Some areas of northern Illinois reported up to 6 inches of snow Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Seeley said. Another inch to 1.5 inches of snow was expected Thursday morning as drizzling rain turned back to snow.

But scattered flurries should diminish later in the day with less than half an inch falling on Chicago, Seeley said.

The snowfall recorded at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was 3 inches, which surpassed the April 11, 1957 record for that day of 2.3 inches.

Milwaukee also smashed a snowfall record for the date with 7 inches. The previous record of 3.2 inches was recorded in 1997. North Dakota and South Dakota also measured snowfalls of about 7 inches. Some areas of northern Illinois reported up to six inches.

``It's kind of flying sideways,'' hardware store owner Harvey Neu said in Menomonee Falls, Wis. ``It's not like a gently falling snowfall. It's more of a get-out-of-my-face type of thing.''

The storm temporarily knocked out power for tens of thousands of households and businesses in the region.

More than 550 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport because of poor visibility, said city aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham.

Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport also had delays and cancellations.

``I think we are all cranky about the weather,'' spokeswoman Pat Rowe said. ``We are ready to be done with winter, but that's the month of April in Wisconsin. ... There's really nothing that anyone can do besides book a flight to a warm location before the storm hits.''

Six people were killed in two separate accidents in Iowa, including a woman and her two children whose minivan collided with another minivan in the state's south-central region.

Wednesday's Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs game was postponed because of the storm. Last weekend, heavy snow wiped out scheduled Mariners-Indians games for four straight days at Cleveland. The Indians moved their home stand against the Angels to Milwaukee's enclosed field.

In Minnesota, slick roads apparently caused a pileup involving at least 70 vehicles along Highway 169 just southwest of Minneapolis. At least two people were seriously injured, the State Patrol said.

As a precaution, 177 snow removal trucks hit Chicago's streets Thursday morning in anticipation of rush-hour traffic, according to Matt Smith, a spokesman for the city's streets and sanitation department.

Snow this late is not that unusual, said weather service meteorologist Andrew Krein in Chicago.

``Typically every few years we'll get some snow in April,'' Krein said. ``Snow in April is not unheard of.''

Thirteen years ago, in fact, Sioux Falls, S.D., got 10 inches of snow on April 28.

Another inch to 1.5 inches of snow was expected in the Chicago area in the early morning hours Thursday as drizzling rain turned to snow.