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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.

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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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