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Sub-Zero Cold Trails Snowstorm Fatal to Seven

November 11, 1986|From Associated Press

It was 31 degrees below zero in Butte, Mont., as bitingly cold air spilled southward Monday from Canada, and other cities posted record lows on the heels of a snowstorm that killed seven people and left a 13-year-old boy missing.

Scattered, light snow fell Monday from the central Rockies across the Plains to the upper Great Lakes region, but it was nothing compared to the storm last week, which dumped more than two feet of snow in the Northern states before it passed into Canada.

Monday's light snow came with an Arctic air mass that depressed temperatures to below zero over much of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and western South Dakota.

Cities reporting record low temperatures for the date included Billings, Mont., where it was 12 below zero; Casper, Wyo., 14 below; Chicago, 18; Flint, Mich., 20; Helena, Mont., 24 below; Kalispell, Mont., 8 below; Lewiston, Ida., 14; Miles City, Mont., 13 below; Missoula, Mont., 2 below; Rapid City, S.D., 7 below; Sheridan, Wyo., 20 below; Spokane, Wash., 11; Valentine, Neb., 1; Wheatridge, Colo., 9; and Yakima, Wash., 13.

'Wind-Chill' 45 Below

Gusting winds along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in Montana created a wind-chill factor of around 45 below at Billings and Casper during the night.

The temperature at Goodland, Kan., dropped from 29 to 14 in one hour as the edge of the cold air moved through, and freeze warnings were issued as far south as northern Texas.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., saw the temperature fall from 60 degrees Saturday to 29 on Sunday. "We're going from early fall weather to mid-winter weather in almost nothing flat," said meteorologist Bill Deadler.

Meanwhile, cooler weather moving into the Southeast ended what was the warmest November weekend on record in parts of Georgia. Savannah, Augusta and Columbus had three days of record highs in the 80s.

In North Dakota, which was walloped by wind-driven snow last week, a number of county roads remained blocked by drifts Monday. Police used four-wheel-drive vehicles to free about 50 cars that got stuck west of Minot, N.D., on Saturday, said Ward County dispatcher Dan Strandberg. About 19 1/2 inches of snow fell there over the weekend.

Reservation Boy Lost

In Fargo, authorities searched for Johnny Robertson, a 13-year-old boy from the Fort Totten Indian Reservation who may have lost his way in the weekend storm. He left Saturday afternoon to walk to a friend's home about a mile away, but never arrived. Snow up to 28 inches deep fell in the area.

The storm deaths included two in Montana and one in Michigan due to traffic accidents on slick roads. Two canoeists drowned in six-foot waves in Minnesota. A North Dakota farmer died after he left his stranded truck and tried to walk home, and a South Dakota rancher died after his vehicle became stuck in the snow.

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