Snowstorm Closes Minnesota Schools, Grounds Flights At Chicago Airports; 6 Killed

Wednesday, April 11th 2007, 9:08 pm
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Hundreds of airline flights were grounded Wednesday, a major league baseball game was called and six people were killed in accidents on icy roads as yet another spring snowstorm hit the upper Midwest.

North Dakota and South Dakota both measured about 7 inches, and 5 inches fell in Madison, Wis.

``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.''

About 400 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport because of poor visibility, said city aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham. The airport also had delays of one to 2 hours on both inbound and outbound flights, and delays at Midway Airport were about 30 minutes, he said.

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

``I think we are all cranky about the weather,'' said Pat Rowe, spokeswoman for General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. ``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 when their 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. During the weekend, heavy snow wiped out scheduled Angels-Indians games for four straight days at Cleveland, and their contest was finally moved to Milwaukee's enclosed field.

In Minnesota, truckers pulled over in droves to wait out the storm.

``It's snowing and blowing and sloppy and slushy,'' said Katie Toots, a cashier at the Shell's truck stop in Albert Lea, near the Iowa state line in south-central Minnesota. ``A lot of drivers just decided to stay put, 'cause further south it's not any better.''

Nearly two dozen school districts canceled classes Wednesday across southern Minnesota, where up to 6 inches of snow was forecast. More closed in Iowa, where numerous vehicles had slid off slippery highways.

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.