Late-winter storms sock parts of U.S. and Canada

Sat Mar 8, 2008 5:26pm EST
 
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By Ros Krasny

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A late-season winter storm slammed into the Ohio Valley on Saturday, forcing flight delays and cancellations at airports before heading out toward the eastern Great Lakes and the Northeast.

Canada also was being hit with a winter blast that snarled air traffic and wreaked havoc on the roads.

Snow totals from Ohio to western New York could exceed 15 to 20 inches by Sunday, the National Weather Service said. Ahead of the snow, freezing rain, ice and sleet fell from eastern Kentucky into New York state.

Ice and heavy, blowing snow closed Cleveland Hopkins International Airport around 11:45 a.m. EST, the Federal Aviation Administration said. It was not expected to reopen until Sunday morning.

The storm extends a brutal season for much of the central United States, where people have faced some of the heaviest snowfall and mix of wintry conditions in years.

Chicago was hit on Saturday by lake-effect snows whipped up over Lake Michigan, and was shivering in the coldest late-season temperatures in five years.

The city has had its snowiest winter since 1978-1979, overrunning its snow removal budget and leaving streets strewn with thousands of potholes.

CANADA DIGGING OUT   Continued...

 
<p>A New York State Snowplow clears a path for commuters on Union Road in Cheektowaga, New York, December 27, 2001. A late-season winter storm slammed into the Ohio Valley on Saturday, forcing flight delays and cancellations at airports before heading out toward the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast. REUTERS/Gary Wiepert GW/ME</p>