Out, Cold In
As Midwest States Recover
From Snow, a New Arctic Front Approaches
truck rolls past a snowbound car in Hammond, Ind. The first major storm
of the season covered much of the Midwest with as much as a foot of snow.
Workers are trying to clear the roads, but travel is still difficult in
much of the region. (Charles Bennett/AP Photo)
12— Snow may have finished falling
on the Midwest for now, but forecasters say the harsh weather is not done
The Arctic air
that helped dump as much as 16 inches of snow to Midwestern states on Monday
is still alive and Weather Channel forecaster Scott Lawrimore in Atlanta
says Texas and Oklahoma may expect serious ice problems in the hours ahead.
“A new area of low pressure developing in the western
Gulf of Mexico is bringing the moisture in up over that cold air,” he said.
“And so, we’re seeing ice and freezing rain. And it could be a real travel
nightmare tomorrow morning in places like San Antonio and Austin.”
The National Weather Service
predicted that the Arctic front will make its way to the mid-Atlantic region
by Thursday, bringing with it possible snow and freezing rain.
The oncoming freeze follows
in the wake of the first major storm of the season. Schools remained closed
today in at least 10 states and air travel was still snarled after winter
kicked into high gear on Monday with a powerful snowstorm across the Midwest.
East-central Michigan received
a record 16 inches and 14 inches fell in northern Illinois, where winds
gusted to 46 mph. Grand Rapids got 14.2 inches, a record for any single
day in December, the National Weather Service said, and Milwaukee had a
December record of 13.5 inches.
Officials in Chicago said it may be Wednesday before
the city’s two airports are running at full capacity because of drifting
snow and because Monday’s cancellations left planes out of position.
“Tuesday will be slow as we
begin recovering from the storm and we’ll likely have more cancellations
and delays,” said Monique Bond, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department
The snow took its toll on commuters
and travelers throughout the region. Some had to travel two hours to get
to work. One teacher in Chicago traveled two miles to her job on cross-country
But the snow was the least of
the worries for some.
With wind chill, temperatures in Illinois were running
from 20 to 40 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit. For the homeless in Chicago,
finding a safe, sheltered place to settle in for the night is a daily challenge,
made even harder by the storm’s temperatures.
Dwight Flowers has been living
on the streets for more than three years. Flowers said church volunteers
made the blizzard a bit more bearable by bringing out blankets, food and
hot chocolate. But finding a warm place in this storm took street smarts.
“Basically I got my little box
with my blankets, there’s a little vent down there,” he said. “Sometimes
they turn the vents off and oh man … but it’s pretty warm down there sometimes.”
At least one storm-related traffic
death was reported in Indiana, and one person died there while shoveling
snow. Ice was blamed for a traffic death in Kansas.
On Monday, United Airlines, which usually has 440 departures
and 440 arrivals at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, canceled at
least 50 percent of its flights. Delta Airlines canceled all 15 of its
flight into and out of O’Hare.
Because O’Hare is United’s largest
hub, the cancellations are expected to affect airline operations across
the country. Travelers flying from both coasts will be routed through United’s
Denver hub or other airports.
In addition to the Midwest snow
problems, fog caused two-hour delays Monday at New York’s La Guardia Airport.
And today high winds closed one of the airport’s two runways and canceled
“This is my second day at the
airport,” Ann Corbett of Melbourne Beach, Fla., said today at La Guardia.
“I had about two hours sleep the night before last, and I caught up a little
bit — five hours last night. Back here again.”
The storm brought bitter cold along with the snow, with
lows down to 5 above zero today in northwest Illinois. Kansas City fell
to 9 degrees.
Mason City, Iowa, tied its record
for the date at 16 below zero, and Chadron, Neb., and Bozeman, Mont., both
had record lows of 27 below zero.
The chill extended all the way
south into Texas, where today’s lows were in the single digits in parts
of the Panhandle.
Northerly wind gusting above
30 mph drove wind chills at Amarillo, Texas, to as low as 18 below zero,
and homeless shelters in the Panhandle city were crowded.
“Some of the homeless will try
to spend the night in a car or something like that, and it isn’t worth
it,” said Billy Hobbs, Faith City Mission executive director.
The rough weather had at least some people smiling, though.
Kids, being kids, made the best
“I’m going to go sledding if
it warms up enough,” said 12-year-old Hannah Menzel of Bellevue, Neb.,
“work on my Christmas dress and build a snowman and a fort.”
In Lincoln, Neb., Lincolnland
Towing manager Jim McWilliams said his company had all 14 of its trucks
on the road Monday morning helping to free stranded motorists, and said
he had dozens of calls pending.
Ron Scattergood, assistant manager
at the Lowe’s home supply store in Springfield, Ill., wasn’t too upset
by the snow, either.
“Sales are enormous. The first
storm of the year, they panic,” he said.
ABCNEWS Radio and The Associated Press contributed
to this report.