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Michigan and Other States Dig Out From Storms

January 15, 1992

DETROIT (AP) _ Dozens of schools were closed for a second day today after the Detroit area’s biggest winter storm in 10 years unloaded nearly a foot of snow. As many as 15 deaths in Michigan were blamed on the weather.

About 40 people were stranded at Cleveland’s bus station overnight by the wintry weather that arrived Tuesday in the Midwest to the Northeast.

To the west, an Arctic storm brought 3 inches of snow to Denver and brought subzero temperatures to much of Colorado on Tuesday. But sections of interstates that were closed Tuesday by ″whiteout″ conditions were reopened today. The Denver snowfall pushed the monthly total to 23.7 inches, a record for January.

In Norfolk, Neb., wind-chill readings overnight plunged to 45 below zero.

″We should be stuck in the deep freeze until further notice,″ said Ignatius Camporeale, a National Weather Service meteorologist in New York.

Even Hawaii was not immune to weather troubles Tuesday. Gusts of 60 mph felled trees, knocked out electricity and snarled rush-hour traffic across Oahu Island.

Most of the thousands in the Detroit area who lost electricity had power again today and many roads closed on Tuesday were reopened as the snowfall ceased. Other effects lingered, however.

Michigan State Police said at least 46 schools would remain closed today. On Tuesday, 389 school districts in the state shut down.

In Cleveland, parts of Interstate 90 were closed because of blowing snow, and a 10-car pileup blocked the road east of downtown. No serious injuries were reported. The storm dumped 9 inches of snow in Fostoria in north-central Ohio.

The heaviest reported snowfall was 11.1 inches at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 20 miles west of the city, said meteorologist Ed Fenelon. That was the area’s heaviest snowfall since 1982, when 11.8 inches fell, he said.

The Detroit News reported 15 weather-related deaths, including a dozen people who suffered heart attacks while clearing snow.

More than 50 people were treated at hospitals for non-fatal heart attacks, breathing problems and injuries from snowblowers and snowmobiles, the newspaper reported.

″People don’t know the exertion it takes ... especially because it’s been a few years since we had a major snowstorm,″ said Daniel Healy, public safety chief in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Shores.

In Iowa, a blast of frigid air pushed powdery snow into ground blizzards overnight, causing some schools to cancel classes. High schools in five towns in northwest Iowa were converted into shelters for visiting athletic teams.

″The kids are all wound up. They know they don’t have school tomorrow,″ said Police Chief Tim Wiegert in Everly.

Traffic accidents in Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio were blamed for four more deaths since Monday.

Wind gusts to 55 mph may have contributed to the deaths of two film students in New York. One died and the other was missing after their rowboat overturned Tuesday in choppy waters off Long Island, police said.

Detroit City Airport was closed from for six hours Tuesday. Detroit Metropolitan Airport stayed open but Northwest Airlines, its largest carrier, halted operations for four hours, said airline spokeswoman Christy DeJoy.

Barney Vassas of Warren waited with his wife, Helen, for more than five hours at City Airport to begin a trip to Arizona.

″I told the pilot that if he was willing to drive, I was willing to fly,″ Vassas said.

″The pilot didn’t take us up on it,″ Mrs. Vassas added.

But the snow was welcome news to some.

″We generally sold out of just about everything,″ said Jerry Mastin, manager of Harvest Supermarket in Anderson, Ind. ″We welcomed (the snow). We needed a shot in the arm.″ Indiana’s heaviest snowfall, 6 inches, was reported in Montpelier.

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