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Snowstorm dies down, Midwest travel woes tick up

Amy Wolf and daughter Audrey Wolf, 6, shovel a sidewalk Friday in Minneapolis. The Minnesota State Patrol blamed the snow for more than 500 accidents Friday. 

ELIZABETH FLORES | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Amy Wolf and daughter Audrey Wolf, 6, shovel a sidewalk Friday in Minneapolis. The Minnesota State Patrol blamed the snow for more than 500 accidents Friday. 

MINNEAPOLIS — A major winter storm turned Midwest commutes into treacherous challenges Friday before the system petered out over the Great Lakes.

At least four deaths were linked to the storm, including three from traffic accidents, brought on by gusty winds and snow-covered roadways.

Places in Kansas and Missouri saw a foot or more of snow on Thursday and spent Friday digging out and clearing miles of roadways. Impressive totals included 18 inches in the southern Kansas town of Zenda; 17 inches in Hays, Kan.; 13 ½ inches in northeast Missouri and south-central Nebraska; and 12 inches in parts of Kansas City, Mo.

The system lost strength as it moved north and east Friday. Totals in and around Illinois ranged from 7 ½ inches in west-central Rushville to a mix of sleet and freezing rain in the St. Louis suburbs. The town of Truman in southern Minnesota received 8 inches.

Eulas Henderson was in no hurry Friday morning while clearing still-falling snow from the sidewalk outside his Detroit home. Even as he shoveled, Henderson's work was being covered.

"It's not frustrating. I enjoy it. It's the normal thing to do in the wintertime," said Henderson, a 56-year-old security guard.

The Minnesota State Patrol blamed the snow for more than 500 accidents Friday. One driver was killed when she lost control, came to a stop in oncoming traffic and was broadsided by another vehicle in a St. Paul suburb.

A 12-year-old boy died from injuries suffered in a collision on an icy highway in northern Nebraska on Thursday. A western Iowa woman was run over Thursday by her car, which had gotten stuck on her steep, slippery driveway. And a 70-year-old woman from Wichita, Kan., died after her car slid and collided with a train.

In Ohio, which was clipped by the storm, a United Airlines plane slid off a slick runway at the Cleveland airport onto a grassy area, but no injuries were reported.

Snowstorm dies down, Midwest travel woes tick up 02/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 9:25pm]

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