DES MOINES, Iowa – Highways were still slippery in parts of the Midwest on Sunday as utility crews restored power knocked out by a snow and ice storm blamed for at least seven traffic deaths.
A few light flurries lingered over Nebraska, Iowa and southeastern Minnesota on Sunday as the core of the storm was sliding through the Northeast.
Less than 3 inches of snow had fallen by midday in New Jersey, with little more than a dusting in other areas, but the National Weather Service said a foot of snow was possible in the mountains of northern New England, with up to 20 inches in northern Maine.
With snowfall that light in New Jersey, and a changeover to rain expected later Sunday in places, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority salted its roads Sunday and didn't bother to plow.
"It's not a bad way to start the season," said Joe Orlando, a spokesman for the authority. "Compared to what's happening in the Midwest, we've kind of got it easy right now."
Airlines at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport worked to move travelers stranded when hundreds of flights were canceled during the storm Saturday. Flights also were canceled Saturday at airports in Des Moines and Milwaukee as blowing snow reduced visibility.
Des Moines International Airport was closed for several hours after an airliner slid off a taxiway as it headed to a runway for a flight to O'Hare. None of the 44 passengers was injured and the airport reopened by mid-afternoon. A regional jet slid off pavement when it turned onto a taxiway after landing at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wis., but no injuries were reported among the 25 passengers.
The weather service had posted winter storm and ice warnings Saturday across parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, the eastern Dakotas, Illinois and northern Michigan. Nearly 8 inches of snow fell at Duluth, Minn.
Driving was still hazardous Sunday in much of Michigan as snow and ice coated roads, but planes were landing and taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport without delay Sunday, said spokesman Mike Conway.
Utility companies in Illinois said the lights are back on for most people who lost electricity as ice weighed down power lines. About 14,000 customers were still waiting for service Sunday, down from nearly 140,000 that were blacked out Sunday, utilities said.
Before the storm hit the Midwest, it dumped up to 2 feet of snow in the mountains of western Colorado. A half foot of snow at Beaver Creek forced organizers to postpone a men's World Cup super-G skiing event from Saturday to Monday.
One member of the Purdue University ice hockey team was killed Saturday when a team van overturned on a slippery highway about 20 miles southwest of West Lafayette, Ind. school officials said. Seven others were injured.
Three people were killed in separate traffic accidents blamed on the weather in Wisconsin, a 13-year-old girl died in a two-car wreck in Illinois, one person was killed in an overturned van in Michigan and one person died in a Colorado traffic accident.