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Powerful Storm Dumps Snow on Midwest

April 2, 2002

April began with a dose of winter across the upper Midwest as snow caused hundreds of traffic accidents.

More light snow fell across the region Tuesday, adding to the 3 to 6 inches that fell Monday in Minnesota and Iowa and the more than 2 inches that fell in parts of Wisconsin.

``It’s going to be in bits and pieces. There’s another piece of the system coming through,″ said Tom Helman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Green Bay, Wis.

``Living in Wisconsin in winter is not fun. And it is spring, so that makes this weather even worse,″ Lisa Heggestad of Madison said Tuesday.

The storm was blamed for at least seven traffic deaths: four in Iowa and three in Minnesota, officials said.

Most of the snow was expected to quickly melt, with Tuesday’s temperatures in Wisconsin expected to range from around 30 in the north to the mid-30s in the south.

The weather was not welcomed by people who had expected spring on April Fool’s Day.

``It’s April and I’m from Arizona and it should be done by now. I’m tired of it,″ said Naomi Evenson, a bartender in Green Bay.

Northern Illinois also had snow on Monday with big snowflakes mixing with rain to cause traffic accidents in the Chicago area. On Tuesday, the area had thunderstorms.

One 17-car wreck on slippery Interstate 35 just north of Minneapolis-St. Paul killed two people whose car rammed into the back of a tractor-trailer rig. A Minnesota state trooper investigating another wreck was slightly injured when his patrol car was hit by a vehicle that slid out of control.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport had to slow operations Monday to allow snowplows to work, and Northwest Airlines and its Airlink partners canceled at least 100 flights. Flights were back on schedule Tuesday.

In northeastern Wisconsin, heavy snow and howling wind shut highways Monday and sent residents scurrying for snow shovels and winter clothing.


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