Snow closes schools, causes deaths


Somer Bareman digs her way through packed snow after street plows covered on her car parked in a driveway on Van Raalte Ave in Holland, Mich on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008. A foot of snow blanketed parts of Michigan and Wisconsin during the night, closing schools Tuesday and causing numerous traffic accidents.

Mark Copier/The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 2:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 2:40 p.m.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A foot of snow blanketed parts of Michigan and Wisconsin during the night, closing schools Tuesday and causing numerous traffic accidents.

At least three traffic deaths were blamed on the weather in Michigan. Winter weather also was blamed for deaths in Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Snow started falling Monday and continued early Tuesday, piling up about a foot deep in western Michigan and up to 13 inches deep in some areas of southeastern Wisconsin. The snowfall started diminishing Tuesday in western Michigan, where the National Weather Service canceled a winter storm warning.

Nearly every school was closed in the Grand Rapids region.

Most highways in the southern two-thirds of Wisconsin were snow-covered and slippery Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Patrol's Web site showed.

Part of Interstate 90 near the Wisconsin-Minnesota state line was closed for about two hours Monday by a pileup on a snow-covered Mississippi River bridge.

Jesse Carlson, who was headed home to Dresbach, Minn., after work in Wisconsin, said he braked to avoid a collision on the I-90 bridge and found himself in the middle of the pileup. "I must have gotten hit four or five times," he said.

Elsewhere, freezing rain on the Plains early Tuesday iced highways in Oklahoma, causing one traffic death and closing schools in parts of the state. One accident shut down Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City for nearly four hours, police said.

"Until we get some sunshine, the roads are going to remain dangerous and we need people to be careful," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West.

Kentucky roads slippery with light snow and ice were blamed for crashes Tuesday that killed three people. In one case, an emergency medical services official was helping a pregnant woman injured in a car accident when a skidding coal truck killed both women, said Johnson County Judge-Executive Tucker Daniel.

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