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In Midwest, 13 Cities Have Record Low Temperatures

December 19, 1985|From Times Wire Services

Powerful winds and snow produced near-blizzard conditions around Lake Erie on Wednesday, while a huge arctic air mass dropped temperatures to record levels in 13 Midwest cities and reached into Dixie.

The latest blast of arctic air produced snow squalls in the Great Lakes region. Snow squalls dropped up to a foot of snow overnight in northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania, with three- to five-foot drifts.

Strong northerly winds accompanying the snow produced near-blizzard conditions in areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York near Lake Erie.

Snow also fell in western Tennessee and northern Arkansas and Mississippi.

Eight Deaths Reported

At least eight people have died on icy roadways since the cold front swept into the nation Monday.

Low temperature records for Dec. 18 were reached in Huron, S.D., where the low of 30 degrees below zero lopped five degrees off a 101-year-old record. The wind chill at Duluth, Minn., was 60 below zero. By afternoon, the arctic air blasted into New York state, producing wind chills of 40 below zero.

In northern New York state, Jefferson County at the eastern end of Lake Ontario has had 50 inches of snow since Friday.

Gusty Winds

Wind gusting to 46 m.p.h. in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York state piled snowdrifts three to five feet high, the National Weather Service said.

During the night, the snow was blown so fiercely that truck drivers reported they were unable to find exit ramps on Interstates 90 and 79, and several rigs and at least one state snow plow were stranded, police said.

Chicago had a wind chill of 40 below zero and all 1,666 beds in the city's 40 shelters were filled overnight, said Jacob Cook, a spokesman for the Department of Human Services.

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