Heavy Snowfall in Midwest Closes Schools and Snarls Traffic; 8 Die

January 10, 1987|From Associated Press

A winter storm blanketed the nation's midsection from Kansas to Illinois with up to 11 inches of snow Friday, closing schools and snarling traffic.

At least eight people were killed in traffic accidents that authorities blamed on slick roads.

The storm was heading east toward Ohio and north toward Michigan and Wisconsin, with up to six inches of snow expected to fall in those areas, forecasters said.

"We strongly discourage travel unless it's an emergency," said Illinois State Trooper Jerry Steppe.

Visibility in some parts of Illinois was down to one-fourth mile, the National Weather Service reported. About 11 inches of snow fell in the Belleville area in southern Illinois, while 10 inches fell at Champaign, Ill., and nine inches at Springfield, Ill.

"It was like somebody dumped a bucket on us," said Robert Hickman, superintendent of schools in Effingham County, Ill., where schools were closed early.

Plows worked into the night clearing runways at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, where six inches of snow had fallen by late Friday.

"All the airlines are experiencing up to 90-minute delays, inbound and outbound," said Edward Levell, deputy airport commissioner.

Yates Center, Kan., received 11 inches of snow, said weather service meteorologist Steve Kays. There was seven inches at Emporia and Salina, six inches at Chanute and Wichita, and four inches at Topeka, the weather service said.

About 45 school districts in the southern half of Missouri were closed, and schools in rural areas surrounding Kansas City and St. Louis were also closed.

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