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Freezing Rain Glazes Great Plains States With Ice Layer

November 16, 1996|Reuters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Freezing rain coated streets and highways across the Great Plains with a dangerous layer of ice Friday, causing at least one death, scores of accidents, flight delays and some school closures, authorities said.

A semitrailer truck crashed early Friday on Interstate 90 near Plankinton, S.D., killing one person, officials said.

The freezing rain swept across parts of the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, glazing trees and power lines and knocking out electricity to some residents.

In Minneapolis, more than an inch of sleet turned roads icy, causing more than 100 traffic accidents, the highway patrol said Friday. No serious injuries were reported even though the crashes reached a rate of one every two minutes. Scores of Northwest Airlines flights were canceled or delayed at the carrier's Minneapolis hub.

In snowbound northern Ohio, authorities appealed to residents to clear blocked gutters and sewers of leaves as this week's early-season snowfall melted with rising temperatures. Authorities feared more roof collapses from the weight of wet snow and flooding from runoff.

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