The first snowstorm of the 2008-2009 winter - Tibet
7 dead, 300 trapped, 1350 rescued

compiled by Dee Finney




NOTE: I don't know if this title means "the last 100 years" or the century we are living in which just started.

I was working in an office late at night. The radio was on and the announcer was talking about the weather. He said that the storm of the century was coming and people should be warned to be prepared for it because once it hit, nobody was going to be able to move on the roads; power would be out, heat would be out, water would be out in many places, there would be no ambulances, fire trucks, no emergency personnel - nothing would be moving.

That was scary enough because I've been through some bad storm like that where the snow drifts were higher than the cars on the street and neighbors had to go out and shovel the roads by hand because snow plows couldn't even get there and we had to walk through the snow, pulling sleds to go to the store to get milk and bread for the children. (There were no warning systems back then)

Later on in years, I've seen roads, once they were plowed with walls of snow on both sides of the road 20 feet high.

So, I know what it can be like.

The woman who I was working with was dark-haired and beautiful. When we heard the weather broadcast, she said she had dreamed the same thing, but in her dream, people had been warned in advance and there was a list of names she had dreamed and she remembered who they were.

She started rattling off the names, but she said them so fast, I could only remember the first three names. James Scott, James Gilliland, and Stephen Greer.

All the names were of people we would all know - names of high ranking politicians mostly.

The first person on the list was the President of Allis-Chalmers, based in West Allis, WI, a large company with divisions all over the country. James Gilliland lives on Mt. Adams in Washington State, and Stephen Greer lives on a mountaintop home in South Carolina, so that's how wide ranging the storm was going to be.

My boss gave me instructions to write down the list of names and make sure everyone was notified. I would write down the list and my co-worker would give me the names from her dream.

I had a terrible time finding a fresh pad of paper or a notebook to write the long list of name to make sure that everyone was notified of the coming storm.

When I finally found a clean pad of paper to write on, it was getting so late, I told her we should just go home and do it there. She agreed, so we got into our cars and drove down the road side by side.

We came to a T intersection with a stop light. I could see it was now dawn - the sun hadn't come up yet and the colors of things were not vivid.

The green light at the intersection actually looked white, but it changed to red before we got there and we had to stop.

Traffic was heavy in both directions and I didn't know if anyone had heard the warning on their radios.

Finally, I saw the light changing from red to white and it changed over gradually it seemed.

When the red light was all white, I looked over to where the woman's car had been next to me and it was already gone.

By the time I stopped on the gas to move forward and turn left, the white light was no longer a circle, it was like a pillar of white light.

I made my turn and what I saw coming down the road were semi-trucks, cars, vans, people in wheelchairs, people on crutches, people walking with canes, all kinds of people fleeing for their lives.

I hadn't even started the list yet and people were already fleeing the storm coming.

10-05-08  Ruth Ryden's channel has also said that we are going to have a very cold winter and suggested people stock up on food, water, etc.


10-05-08  A friend in Montana reported that the animals started developing much heavier winter coats than usual about three weeks ago. I am seriously concerned that we truly may see a horrific winter disaster storm coming.

By John

10-05-08 - I've got a lab/beagle mix who lives outside. He already has a very full winter coat and we have had so many warm days this fall and haven't had any nights below freezing yet that I know of. Strange. I'm learning to listen to the animals though.

Peace, light and love, Dawn


Winter of 1886-87 stands as coldest
Bismarck's snowiest winter occurred 11 years ago, but the city's coldest winter goes back farther - to the days when Dakota was a territory.

Half of Bismarck's 10 coldest winters were prior to 1900, and none was colder than the winter of 1886-87. From December to February, the average temperature was 0.4 degrees below zero - Bismarck's only winter with a below-zero average temperature.

The season devastated livestock and ranchers in the west. Cattle, overstocked by ranchers during the summer's drought, died by the tens of thousands as hard snow hid the sparse prairie grasses.

Storms raged from November to February. Five minimum temperature records from January 1887 still stand in Bismarck, including 41 below on Jan. 1 and 44 below on Jan. 2.

"With all this severity thus indicated the air was so still and rare that during the day, parties were seen upon the streets without overcoats, and by no means was as much inconvenience felt as on days fifty degrees warmer with a slight breeze blowing," the Bismarck Daily Tribune reported on Jan. 2, 1887.

The newspaper covered many weather problems, as people froze to death, animals starved and snow stopped trains. People reported having more snow across Dakota Territory than ever before.

"Then, on 28 January, a blizzard struck which made all previous storms that winter seem trivial," Edmund Morris wrote in his book, "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt." Judging by the Bismarck Daily Tribune, the storm hit Bismarck on Jan. 29 and 30.

"It is the unanimous opinion that the storm of Saturday and Sunday was the most severe that ever visited Dakota since white men came here," the Feb. 1, 1887, Bismarck Daily Tribune said.

Despite gloomy reports on the range, Bismarck life went on. Portions of the 122-year-old newspaper mirror today's winter issues, including talk of the need to clear sidewalks and advertisements for winter caps. A letter about Bismarck from a man named Ira Swain to his father ran in the paper on Jan. 30, 1887.

"I can simply say that the snow is three feet deep, the thermometer registers 30 degrees below zero, the wind is blowing 40 miles an hour, the legislature is in session, there is no meat in the house and the insane asylums and penitentiaries are crowded," the letter said.


The Great Blue Norther of 11/11/11

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from The 11/11/11 cold wave)

The Great Blue Norther of 11/11/11 (November 11, 1911) was the biggest cold snap in U.S. history. Many cities broke record highs early that afternoon. By nightfall, cities were dealing with single-digit temperatures on the Fahrenheit scale. This is the only day in many midwest cities' weather bureau jurisdictions where the record highs and lows were broken for the same day. Blue norther is also known as just norther.

The main cause of such a dramatic cold snap was an extremely strong storm system separating warm, humid air from frigid, arctic air. Dramatic cold snaps tend to occur mostly in the month of November, though they can also come in February or March.

Kansas City

Temperatures in Kansas City had reached a record high of 76° F (24 °C) by late morning before the front moved through. As the cold front approached, the winds increased turning from southeast to northwest. By midnight, the temperature had dropped to 11° F (−11.7 °C), a 65 Fahrenheit degree (35 celsius degree) difference in 14 hours.


In Springfield, the temperature difference was even more extreme. Springfield was at 80 °F (27 °C) before the cold front moved through. Two hours later, the temperature was at 40 °F (4 °C) with winds blasting out of the northwest at 40 mph (65 km/h). By 7:00 P.M. Central Standard Time (01:00 UTC 12 November) the temperature had dropped a further 7 °F (12.6 °C), and by midnight, a record low of 13 °F (−11 °C) was established. It was the first time since records had been kept for Springfield when the record high and record low were broken in the same day. The freak temperature difference was also a record breaker: 67 °F (37 °C) in 10 hours.

Record highs and lows were established on the same day in Oklahoma City as well with a high of 83 °F (28 °C) and low of 17 °F (−8 °C); temperature difference: 66 °F (36 °C). This record still holds to this day.

Freak weather

The front produced severe weather and tornadoes across the upper Mississippi Valley, a blizzard in Ohio, and the windy conditions upon front passage caused a dust storm in Oklahoma. Nine tornadoes were reported in the states of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. An F4 tornado hit in Janesville, Wisconsin killing 9 and injuring 50. Within an hour of the tornado, survivors were working in blizzard conditions and near zero temperatures to rescue people trapped in debris.

Another notable cold snap

The Great Lakes area has experienced a number of dramatic cold snaps, albeit none so dramatic as the 11/11/11 cold wave. In the early afternoon hours of February 11, 1999, many cities in the Great Lakes area saw temperatures soar to more than 70 °F (21 °C) for the first time ever in February. South Bend, Indiana reported a record high of 72 °F (22 °C). By 8:00 P.M. CST (02:00 hrs UTC, 12 November), temperatures had plummeted to near freezing. The previous record high for February 11 in South Bend was only 46 °F (7 °C), broken by over 26 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius).


Published online: 3 August 2007

Abstract  Winter storms are a major weather problem in the USA and their losses have been rapidly increasing. A total of 202 catastrophic winter storms, each causing more than $1 million in damages, occurred during 1949–2003, and their losses totaled $35.2 billion (2003 dollars). Catastrophic winter storms occurred in most parts of the contiguous USA, but were concentrated in the eastern half of the nation where 88% of all storm losses occurred. They were most frequent in the Northeast climate district (95 storms), and were least frequent in the West district (14 catastrophic storms). The annual average number of storms is 3.7 with a 1-year high of 9 storms, and 1 year had no storms. Temporal distributions of storms and their losses exhibited considerable spatial variability across the nation. For example, when storms were very frequent in the Northeast, they were infrequent elsewhere, a result of spatial differences in storm-producing synoptic weather conditions over time. The time distribution of the nation’s 202 storms during 1949–2003 had a sizable downward trend, whereas the nation’s storm losses had a major upward trend for the 55-year period. This increase over time in losses, given the decrease in storm incidences, was a result of significant temporal increases in storm sizes and storm intensities. Increases in storm intensities were small in the northern sections of the nation, but doubled across the southern two-thirds of the nation, reflecting a climatic shift in conditions producing intense winter storms.


This was the year mentioned in the dream - I lived through this storm myself in Wisconsin
  1. Disasters – The Blizzard of 1949 in Nebraska

    He figured that the storm would reduce the number of cattle that could make ... She says the winter of 1949 was so bad even wild animals became trapped in ...
  2. The Winter of 1949 in Ballinger Texas by Phillip West

    Jun 24, 2008 ... turned eight years old when the ice storm hit Ballinger Texas in 1949. ... survived that long cold winter with no more than they had. ...
    1949 »  Blizzard Advances Into Midwest Winter Storm Reaches Deep Into South . - St. Petersburg Times
    1949 »  Another Winter Storm Invades Western States . - St. Petersburg Times

    Jan. 23, 1949: Snowbound in the Heartland
      Jan. 23, 1949: Snowbound in the Heartland
     A Nebraska National Guard C-45 photographed through the open cargo door of another transport. Operation Haylift dropped hundreds of tons of hay to stranded livestock. (Photo courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society)
    by Andy Stephens
    11th Wing Historian

    1/24/2007 - BOLLING AFB, D.C. -- The winter storm of 1948 through 1949 covered 193,193 square miles in four states. It left nearly a quarter of a million people trapped to face an icy doom in their own homes.

    Operation Snowbound was one of the greatest humanitarian missions the Air Force ever flew -- and Bolling ever supported -- within its own borders.

    On Nov. 18, 1948, heavy snow blew into the Great Plains at wind speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, covering the roofs of houses and making all travel impossible. The winds blew down more than 1,700 telephone poles with thousands of breaks in communication lines. The four states most affected -- Nebraska, both North and South Dakotas, and Wyoming -- seemed to disappear from the American fabric.

    While some of the snow melted soon thereafter, a heavy rain fell that Christmas -- and then the temperatures dropped again. The wet, compressed snow had turned into a layer of ice several feet thick before the snow started falling again. The blizzard lasted for three days in some parts of Nebraska.

    Air Force leadership at Bolling's Headquarters Command, already supporting the Berlin Airlift, now faced a second humanitarian mission closer to home. Some questioned if the Air Foce could support both missions in tandem.

    The Air Force pressed ahead with Operation Snowbound, the rescue of Americans trapped in a blizzard of near-biblical proportions and the support of millions of livestock crucial to the states' economies. There was only one way to bring in food and supplies and that was through airlift. It was something the Air Force had become quite adept at because of the situation in Europe.

    The Air Force didn't act alone. Through the Military Air Transport Service, a newly formed Air Force organization that had absorbed both the Air Transport Command, a Bolling mainstay since WWII and the Naval Air Transport Service. Under MATS the Fifth Army, American Red Cross, Army Corps of Engineers, National Guard assets not currently supporting the Berlin Airlift, and the Civil Air Patrol were mustered into a home front "Berlin Airlift," channeling their resources for the second great humanitarian effort of 1949.

    One of the key players in the unfolding drama was the 1100th Special Air Missions Group, headquartered at Bolling. The 1100th SAMG flew every aircraft available to help drop feed to some of the more than four million sheep and cattle, and to transport some of the approximately 1,600 pieces of heavy equipment needed to clear more than 115,000 miles of road.

    On Jan. 23, 1949, alone, the Air Force airdropped approximately 525 cases of "C" rations, 20,000 pounds of food and 10,000 pounds of coal in Nebraska alone. Figures for Operation Snowbound are unavailable, but the impact made by the Air Force in the region was quite distinct and the Airmen were hailed as heroes in the heartland, as well as abroad.

    Operation Snowbound continued well into April, after the last of the big storms hit south central and eastern Nebraska. During this period, Airmen joined with their peers from the other services to respond to train derailments brought about by another snowstorm in late March and flooding along the ice-packed Big and Little Nemaha rivers. Many of the 30-foot-deep snowdrifts didn't melt until June.

    The operation was a monumental undertaking for the newly created Air Force, still less than 2 years old, but rapidly assuming a more and more prominent social role as a first responder for humanitarian issues and the use of wartime science used for peaceful applications.

    Editor's Note: A Hollywood docudrama entitled "Operation Haylift" was released in 1950 that recounted the Air Force's role in the humanitarian mission. The movie featured a fleet of the Air Force's C-119s (also known as "flying boxcars") as well as actual pilots who participated in the humanitarian mission. The movie starred Bill Williams, Ann Rutherford, Tom Brown and Jane Nigh.



    The 1959 flood


    PUTNAM COUNTY - Fifty years ago this month the Blanchard River was on one of it's rampages ... along with many other rivers and streams in Ohio.

    This is the kind of anniversary we don't celebrate...we just recall the event. We recall that the 1959 flood waters hit twice ... in January and again in February.

    Snow, sleet, freezing rain, fog and rain all joined forces during the third week in January to create precarious conditions. The steady downpour of rain started on Tuesday afternoon and continued through Wednesday.

    Mother Nature had already dumped nearly a half inch of snow on the county on Monday.

    The rain melted the more than four inches of snow that was already on the frozen ground.

    The frozen ground could not soak it all up, the streets were flooded and the storm sewers were overtaxed.

    The Blanchard River hit flood stage in Ottawa on the morning of Friday the 23rd.

    Flood waters started to fill Sugar Street in the West end of town. The river was rising at about two inches per hour at noon on Thursday. That morning Findlay officials reported that the Blanchard was rising at approximately .05 feet per hour and they expected it to crest about Thursday noon. The measurement in Findlay, at that time, was 773.75 feet above sea level and was the highest in the city's history, even higher than the 1913 Flood. (Sentinel, Jan.23rd). County schools were closed most of the week but both Ottawa schools reopened on Friday. Schools remaining closed on Friday were Vaughnsville, Kalida, Ottoville, Ft. Jennings, Columbus Grove, Pandora-Gilboa, Miller City and the school for handicapped children.

    Ray Burkholder, official county weather observer, reported that the rain and snow for the week amounted to.2.72 inches of moisture. The 1.73 inches of rain on Wednesday was the most ever recorded during a 24 hour period during the month of January. The previous high of 1.64 inches fell on the 26 January 1952.

    Normally the Blanchard would rise in Ottawa from 12 to 24 hours after the Findlay crest. However the range in temperature from 5 degrees on Sunday to 54 on Wednesday might alter the rise of the river. Because of the cold wave, much of the water on streets and lowlands were frozen. Much of Ohio was also flooded at this time. Many cities were experiencing the worst flood in 20 years.

    Many basements in Ottawa were flooded, including the Fire Chief Dewel Martin's, who reported four feet of water in his basement. The water was reported to be running through the race horse barns on the fair ground.

    The ice caused extensive damage to the lines of the Ottawa Telephone Company. All lines between Ottawa and Leipsic and Ottawa and Miller City were also out of order, as were toll lines to Napoleon and Lima. Service to Lima was replaced Wednesday morning. The Ohio Power did not report extensive damage to lines. However Pandora and Continental reported some outages for a time and five main lines were out in the Ottawa District.

    According to the Jan. 30 Putnam County Sentinel, the Blanchard crested at midnight on Friday the 23rd. Only a portion of Route 65 was closed but Rt. 224 on West Main was closed for more than 36 hours. Flood waters rose as high as the B & O Railroad bridge, causing an ice jam in front of the bridge, which was weighted down by freight cars for several days. Water entered several homes on the West end of Ottawa and many other homes were surrounded. The Army amphibious duck, purchased by the Putnam County Civil Defense during the past year, was put to good use in removing some occupants from their homes and delivering groceries to many families, who remained in their homes. Farmers near Rimer and Kalida reported the loss of over 30 pigs due to being stranded in areas, where they could not reach.

    In addition to the closing of Rt. 224; Rt. 190 was closed near Ft. Jennings; Routes 694, 634 and 114 were closed in the Cloverdale and Cascade areas; 698 was closed near the River; 15 was closed north of Ottawa; Route 115 was flooded near Kalida and Vaughnsville, as was Route 12 near Vaughnsville. A section of N. Locust Street near SPPS was also covered with water. Damage in the county was placed at 66l,000 to 775,000 dollars, but no death or injuries were reported.

    Several hair raising experiences were reported due to people getting stuck in the flood waters.

    Thomas Zeller, of near Kalida, was on his way to work in Napoleon, when his car became stuck in Greensburg Township on Friday. He was trying to find a short-cut to work at 6 a.m. He was driving on County Road 15, when his car became stranded. He climbed out of the car into the icy waters in the semi-darkness and ventured to the Norbert Vennekotter home. He waded to a fence, climbed it; and then crawled on his hands and knees towards the house. He was unaware he was crawling on ice which covered a ravine filled with 5 to 10 feet of water. Mr. and Mrs. Venekotter said the youth was almost frozen stiff when they took him in. Mr. Vennekotter pulled the car out with his tractor. After drying out Zeller was able to return home.

    The Vidette reported that several young people put on an auto ice show midway between Kalida and Rimer on Sunday afternoon.

    The earlier high water had left between 70 to 80 acres of farmland covered with a smooth sheet of ice, so several young motorists decided to go "coasting." The cars would come down off a small hill and go into twirling slides on the ice covered fields. At one time as many as 15 to 16 cars were in on the show. The end of the show came when one car broke through the ice and became thoroughly "stuck".

    Little did the residents of Putnam County, know another flood would be coming in two to three weeks, even worse than the first.


    More photos of the blizzard of 1977

    What was the major regional natural history event of the 20th century? No contest.


        Lake Erie froze over by December 14, 1976, an early record. This normally puts an end to the lake effect snowstorms created by winds picking up moisture from the lake surface, converting it to snow and dumping it when those winds reach shore. But that winter something different happened.

        It began to snow just after Christmas and a few inches accumulated almost every day through the next month. By late January snow depth in Buffalo was 30 to 35 inches and street plowing was already falling behind -- 33 of the city's 79 plows were in for repairs. More ominous, snow depth on the 10,000 square miles of Lake Erie surface was also almost three feet.

        Although the National Weather Service had posted blizzard warnings, that fateful Friday, January 28, 1977 started out quite pleasant. There was little wind and it wasn't too cold for late January. But suddenly, just before noon, the infamous Blizzard of '77 hit.

        The temperature quickly plummeted to near zero and the winds arrived with gusts peaking at over 70 miles per hour. This produced a wind chill that dropped almost off the chart to 60 below. Only about seven inches of new snow fell over the next several days, but western New York and nearby Canada were also inundated with those tons of snow blown in off Lake Erie.

        As one consequence, visibility remained at zero for the first 25 hours of the storm. Drivers found themselves being buried and many, surrounded by the whiteout, were forced to stay in their cars. Some of those contributed to the 29 death toll, dying of carbon monoxide poisoning or exposure. (In another episode carbon monoxide from a snow blower started in an enclosed garage killed not only the operator but his daughter in a nearby bedroom.) Hearing of people marooned in their cars, police struggled over drifts to bang on car roofs. They were relieved to receive no answer because they had no way of digging anyone out.

        Ordinary snow would not have been so bad. During this same period the east end of Lake Ontario received almost six feet, but theirs didn't pack the way it did in Buffalo. Here the wind was so strong that it broke up snow crystals and compressed them into drifts that were cement-like in quality. At the same time buildings acted like snow fences causing the drifts to accumulate in some places to 30 feet, enough to bury a house.

        The problem became more than the usual too few plows; now it was plows that could not penetrate the drifts. Some broke down, were quickly buried and themselves contributed to the difficulty of opening roads. The state's National Guard and Department of Transportation, the Army Corps of Engineers, nearby towns and commercial firms had to bring in earth moving equipment to handle the huge accumulation.

        Seven western New York counties were designated part of a major national disaster area and soldiers were dispatched from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to assist in the clean-up. It lasted well into February.

        Although there was some looting and theft during the storm, it was mostly an episode that brought the community together. Stores and restaurants and hotels provided food and places to stay, often free. Agencies like the Salvation Army and the Red Cross as well as city and county departments worked continuously through the emergency to provide services. Individual people helped not only neighbors but strangers as well.

        It was without a doubt our storm of the century.-- Gerry Rising



    January 22, 2009


    The storm came without fanfare, without a media blitz, without predictions of doom.

    In fact, the forecast for Friday, Jan. 12, 1979, was rather pedestrian.

    Snow likely tonight. Cloudy with some snow or some flurries likely Saturday.

    Oh, the joys of the Blizzard of 1979 ... Thirty years ago this month, the snow kept on coming down for days. Digging out became a full-time job. At top, fire hydrants had to be cleared out so emergency personnel would have access. Above, two hearty individuals try to free their vehicle from the tundra in Aurora.

    Instead, 30 years ago this month, the Fox Valley was pelted by a powerful snowstorm that closed roads, collapsed roofs, stranded bowling teams and created snowdrifts 8 feet high. Some flurries, indeed.

    The storm was powerful enough to wipe the other big story of the day -- the discovery of 27 dead bodies under John Wayne Gacy's house -- off the front page.

    Statewide, 57 deaths were blamed on the blizzard. In DuPage County, six people's final chore on this Earth was shoveling snow.

    The storm started with that innocuous forecast -- nothing that raised concern for a hearty group of Aurora Girl Scouts. They headed out for a weekend of camping in Big Rock.

    "I didn't think it was too serious, so we went ahead with the plans," said Scout leader June Bombard.

    Twenty-six girls and seven leaders set up in a cabin, some distance from the main lodge.


    The snow started Friday night, dropping 4-1/2 inches. That might have been manageable except for three complicating factors.

    One, there was already 11 inches of snow on the ground.

    Two, 25-mph winds made it difficult to keep roads -- especially rural routes -- clear.

    "The roads are like cow paths," the DuPage County sheriff's office reported.

    Then finally, and most devastatingly, it ... just ... kept ... snowing. Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, another foot of snow fell.

    Chaos ensued.

    Fourteen members of a bowling team from Forrest, Ill., on their way to a tournament got stranded and spent the night in the Elburn police chief's home. In downtown Yorkville, the roof of the Homer Dixon Implement Co. collapsed, destroying $100,000 worth of equipment.

    Fifteen cars and their occupants -- including an Illinois state trooper -- were stranded on Interstate 88 near Sugar Grove.

    And when the storm cut power to 75 homes in Elburn, ComEd decided to send a helicopter to restore electricity. The pilot couldn't get to the chopper; it was snowed in, too.

    "It's like the frozen wastelands of the moon out here," said an unfazed Ruth Harmon, who made tea and French toast in the fireplace.


    Meanwhile, the Aurora Scouts realized there was a problem. The leaders put their heads together and decided to move the girls, who were 9 and 10 years old, to the main lodge. Supplies were loaded onto toboggans.

    "We knew we had to move; otherwise we wouldn't have been evacuated until spring," said Scout leader Charlene Killman.

    They had access to a phone, but no way to get home. To stave off cabin fever, the leaders invented a patch and made up requirements. The girls made drinking water, created recipes and shoveled, shoveled, shoveled.

    On Sunday night, the girls planned services. They prayed for rescue.


    Outside, the snow continued to pile up.

    "Our vehicles keep breaking down because of the weight of the snow," said one plow company. "There are no places to push snow. There is just too much there. My partner is ready to fly somewhere warm. We, too, are sick of the snow."

    Hardware stores ran out of supplies.

    "All we had left were coal and grain shovels," said one clerk. "And now they are all gone."

    The clerk helpfully pointed customers to shovels used for building sand castles. (There's always a comedian.)

    By Monday night, county officials estimated 20,000 residents were stranded. Many main roads -- including Routes 30 and 47 -- were closed. Other streets were clogged with stalled or abandoned cars.

    "I'm having one helluva time," the Geneva Township Highway Superintendent said. "We've got places you couldn't get to with a saddle horse."


    Finally, on Monday morning, snowmobiles were able to reach the Scouts.

    "We weren't out of food but we didn't have much left when they came," Killman said Tuesday, recalling their ordeal of 30 years ago. "We were ready to go home."

    The snowmobiles could only take one girl at a time so the rescue took hours. But by the end of the night, they were in their own beds. They never forgot the experience.

    "It was once-in-a-lifetime thing, getting stranded," Killman said.

    So, was it the worst winter she's experienced?

    Oh, no, Killman said. Sure, the blizzard of 1979 was bad.

    But it was nothing compared to 1967. That, Killman said, was a really bad winter.

    Comment at

    Deadly storm’s 25th anniversary


    In one swift weekend snowstorm almost 25 years ago — February 4 — nine lives were taken; three of those, children from the same family.

    Twenty-five years ago, cell phone communication was only a technology geek’s dream, a meterologist’s advanced warning system was on the brink, and well-heeled survival techniques were still being sculpted.

    The snows and winds often hurl unheeded across this southwestern Minnesota prairie.

    Such was the case the 1984 weekend of Saturday, February 4, and Sunday, February 5.

    Six people alone died that weekend one mile south of Bingham Lake along Highway 60. Lives lost included 78-year-old Louise Janzen of Mt. Lake; her grandson, Michael Janzen, 27 and his wife, Diane, 26; and the couple’s three children, Joshua Lemke, age 6 and Jacob Lemke, age 5 and 8-month-old Alisha Janzen, all of Minneapolis.

    Two other deaths occurred north of Butterfield on Watonwan County Road 5 — Raymond Anderson, 71, and his wife, Leola, 66, of St. James.

    The ninth death, that of Albert Koep of Jackson, was in Jackson County.

    Eventually weary rescuers finished the daunting and emotional job of rescue and recovery, shrouded with overwhelming sadness. Pete Heinrichs, ambulance squad member and firefighter living in Mt. Lake at that time, among those who recovered the bodies of the Janzen family, told the group of men — all of whom were fathers — “Fellas, when you get home, hug your kids!”

    The Janzen family

    The blizzard exploded on the area at approximately 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, February 4.

    Travelers had little or no warning, and many were “caught” en route between destinations.

    The storm followed a 15-minute heavy snow flurry, swirling in from the northeast.

    As the night continued, the winds grew stronger, with gusts registering up to 5o miles per hour during late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Winds remained whipping at a clip of 30-40 miles per hour all day Sunday, finally abating at approximately 5:30 p.m.

    Along with the howling winds whipping the new-fallen snow, the temperature plummeted, with the wind chill dropping to 40-60 degrees below zero.

    The Mt. Lake Fire Department, assisted by a pair of Cottonwood County snowplows driven from the Mt. Lake shop by Walt Buller and Arnold Karschnik, both of Mt. Lake, located the Janzen car along Highway 60 at approximately 11:15 a.m. Sunday morning, February 5.

    According to reports, the car was completely covered by a snowdrift. The family had been trapped in the car for over 14 hours.

    Mt. Lake rescue personnel, including Heinrichs, Ray Oeljtenbruns and Dennis Peters, were unable to get responses from the six people inside the vehicle. However, they immediately began revival techniques.

    The family was taken to Windom Area Hospital, where all six were pronounced dead of hypothermia at approximately 8 p.m. that Sunday evening.

    Despite the fact that there were no vital signs, the rescue crew, as well as the doctors and nurses at Windom Area Hospital, continued resuscitation efforts for the intervening eight hours after the rescue.

    The Janzen group had apparently gone to Windom for supper, and to visit with John and Ruth Aumer of Windom, Louise Janzen’s daughter and son-in-law.

    They were returning to Mt. Lake when they became stuck in a snowdrift during the snowstorm.

    Michael Janzen was at the wheel of the vehicle, while the older boys, Joshua and Jacob, were kneeling on the floor in the front seat, in front of the heater. Diane Janzen was cradling Alisha on her lap in the back seat, next to Louise Janzen. The car window was open approximately two inches.

    At 10 p.m. the Saturday night before, Don and Jan Dehm-

    low of Bingham Lake had come upon the snowbound Janzen vehicle.

    The Dehmlows stopped and gave the family food and milk, and offered to take the children with them. The Janzens declined, wishing instead to remain together.

    The Dehmlows, who had been shopping in Windom, had already rescued a number of people on their return trip to Bingham Lake, and though their car was full, stated they could have made room for the Janzen children.

    When they made it to their home around 10:30 p.m., the Dehmlows notified the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Department concerning the Janzen vehicle and the six people stranded in it.

    Don Dehmlow made a second rescue attempt of the Janzens later that evening.

    Together with Dale Minion, also of Bingham Lake, the two men used a 4x4 pickup truck to attempt reaching the area of the stranded vehicle.

    According to Jan Dehmlow at that time, “The visibility was so bad that the men were unable to find their way, and the snow had drifted in so tight, they couldn’t move.”

    The complete story can be found in the print
    version of the Observer/Advocate.

Severe winter weather makes state history

1949, 1966 & 1984

By ELOISE OGDEN, Regional Editor,
POSTED: January 23, 2009

It's been a rugged winter so far.

The Minot area had record-setting snowfall in December and is nearly halfway to setting another record snowfall this month, plus there's already plenty of the "white stuff" to remove from driveways, roads and other areas.

December also was the eighth-coldest December in North Dakota history.

Although North Dakota has had a number of mild winters, it has had its share of severe winter weather over the years, with some of those winters going down in the state's history with severe blizzards.

Here are a few of them, according to the files of The Minot Daily News, that unleashed themselves on this state:

Many oldtimers remember the winter of 1948-49 when people were snowbound and hay had to be airlifted to cattle in the region.

Minot was the rescue hub for the 1949 "Operation Haylift" when C-47 cargo planes flew in and out of the airport dropping bales of hay to cattle marooned in fields through northwest counties.

"For those who lived through the winter of 1948-49 in North Dakota, especially the counties along the northern border, the experience can never be forgotten," The Minot Daily News reported.

During that winter of '48-49, mountains of snow were piled up and at one time and it was estimated no more than six miles of highway were passable. Help rushed in after disaster appeals from then Gov. Fred G. Aandahl.

Fifth Army personnel also were directed to North Dakota with their "Weasels," tractor-like machines, to battle their way through the drifts and bring supplies to people stranded for days, sometimes weeks, in buried farmhouses, rural schools almost anyplace.

People in that 1948-49 ordeal walked to work between piles of snow well over their heads ... and they were their brother's keeper for those who needed help.

Also, there was no major flood in Minot that spring.

Some other blizzards that have been marked significant in North Dakota over the years include:

- March 1920. The storm took seven lives, among them Hazel Miner, a rural Oliver County schoolgirl who sheltered her younger brother and sister from the storm after their sleigh had tipped. The younger children were found alive but Hazel had died. Many stories, including a folk ballad, have been written about Hazel's heroism over the years. There also were others who lost their lives in that storm, including four small brothers from rural Ryder who were trying to head home from their school southwest of Ryder with their team and sled and became stalled in the storm. The Minot Daily News called the blizzard "the worst blizzard since 1902."

- March 1941. This storm was rated as one of the most ferocious blizzards in history. Before it stopped, 76 people had died in North Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In North Dakota, the death toll was 39.

- March 1966. The storm struck the south-central part of the state, leaving roof-top snowpiles in towns and literally burying a passenger train near Bismarck. It took five lives, among them a 6-year-old Strasburg girl, who became lost while walking to the barn from her home for milking chores. Her father searched for her for hours in the roaring winds and snow until he found her in a 12-foot drift. She was dressed in overshoes, two jackets and a stocking cap but had died of exposure.

Blizzard reports go back many years, including in January 1888 when 65 mph winds swept across the Plains and nearly 100 people were killed, including several in North Dakota. Several other storms between the late 1800s and the early 1920s took the lives of North Dakotans. A February 1923 blizzard killed 22 people and at that time was considered the second-worst in the state's history.

A January 1975 blizzard was called the "blizzard of the century" by a Minneapolis meteorologist. It left 55 people dead in nine region states, including nine in North Dakota. Among those who died in it were a Minot youth and two companions who tried to walk to safety from a stalled car near Lakota. In Minot, some of the snowdrifts reached nearly the rooftop of some houses, according to reports. Some buildings and some under construction collapsed because of the strong winds.

And then there was the ice storm of March 5-6, 1983.

A blizzard occurring April 26-27, 1984, dropped 25 inches of snow on Minot and had high winds. Travel in the western and central parts of the state was almost impossible. At the time, the storm was considered the worst April blizzard on record. The Minot Daily News reported that during that storm, several of its employees stayed overnight at the newspaper so they could be sure they were on hand for work the next day. Others did get to work the next day, either by walking or catching rides.

And the most recent snow emergency the North Dakota National Guard was called in for, called Operation Snowball, was in the winter of December 1996 which went into April 1997.

What's in store for the rest of this winter? If you go by The Old Farmers Almanac for 2009, there's still more snow at intervals from now and into March and cold weather also at various times into mid-February but then warmer than normal weather is predicted to hit in April and May.



Date: November 01, 2008 at 15:41:15
From:Mary E
Subject: Tibet’s ‘worst snowstorm ever’, 7 killed

URL: Tibet’s ‘worst snowstorm ever’, 7 killed

Another sign we may be in for a cold winter?

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- At least seven people have been found dead after "the worst snowstorm on record in Tibet," China's state-run news agency reported Friday.

About 1,350 people were rescued in Lhunze County -- another 300 were trapped -- after nearly five feet (1.5 meters) of snow blanketed much of Tibet this week.

The storm caused buildings to collapse, blocked roads and killed about 144,000 head of cattle, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported.

The seven people who died either froze to death or were killed as a result of collapsing buildings, and one person is still missing, China Daily said.

Southern US hit by rare snowfall


Snow has blanketed parts of the US states of Louisiana and Mississippi, causing disruption and leaving thousands without power.

Up to eight inches of snow were reported in some areas, blocking roads and forcing offices to close.

In Mississippi some schools were shut, and forecasters warned of treacherous driving conditions.

The north-east of the country was also hit by winter weather, with a state of emergency in place in two states.

The snow in the Louisiana city of New Orleans was its first in more than four years.

It caused considerable excitement, with office workers taking to the streets to watch and photograph the snow.

At a park in New Orleans' Uptown neighbourhood, Sara Echaniz, 41, took photos and dodged snowballs thrown by her son, three-year-old Sam.

"He didn't believe it was snow until it started sticking to the ground," Ms Ecahniz said.

Eight inches of snow fell in Amite, about 75 miles (121 km) north-west of New Orleans, a meteorologist said. In Mississippi, up to five inches of snow fell in some southern parts of the state.

About 10,000 power cuts were reported by Cleco Corp, one of Louisiana's largest power providers, and some flights at Louis Armstrong International Airport outside New Orleans were delayed.

Snow is rare in southern Louisiana, although more northern parts of the state see it about once a year.

State of emergency

Meanwhile in the north-east of the US an ice storm knocked out power to more than half a million homes and businesses in New England and upstate New York.

Aerial footage of the icestorm

Governors in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire declared a state of emergency. Schools were closed and travel disrupted across the region.

"I urge all New Hampshire citizens to take sensible precautions and heed all warnings from public officials," said New Hampshire Governor John Lynch.

Fire departments in New Hampshire were responding to reports of transformer explosions and downed power lines and trees.

Public Service Company of New Hampshire said an unprecedented 230,000 customers - nearly half of the homes and businesses it serves - were without power at one point.

The outages had far surpassed the infamous ice storm of 1998, when some residents spent more than a week without power, utility officials said.

Winter Storm Claims Two Lives In KY
Fri., Jan. 30, 2009

Two deaths in Kentucky have been associated with a vicious winter storm that has left more than a 600,000 people without power.

Buddy Rogers with the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management said Thursday that 91 shelters have been opened across Kentucky for people whose homes lost power.

Rogers said downed trees across a road in Ohio County delayed an ambulance crew from reaching a residence where a woman was found dead. A woman was also found dead at the bottom of her basement steps as she retrieved a kerosene heater.

Rogers said officials are also dealing with flooding along a few rivers due in the state.

Officials originally blamed the storm for another death in Montgomery County after a man who was on oxygen died. However, officials now say that death was not weather-related.

Associated Press Wire Services Contributed To This Story.

Kentucky, Louisville seek federal storm aid

24 Deaths Reported

Plans for handling of debris are set

By Jessie Halladay
February 3, 2009

As the Kentucky National Guard continued to help victims in parts of the state hit hardest by last week's winter storm, Gov. Steve Beshear -- estimating state expenses exceeding $45 million -- asked President Barack Obama to speed up federal aid.

Obama signed a federal emergency declaration for Kentucky last week that provides assistance with material, such as generators and water.

Yesterday, Beshear asked the president for a "major disaster" declaration and to have the federal government reimburse 100 percent of the recovery and cleanup costs during the first seven days of the storm's effects.

At least 24 Kentuckians have died as a result of last week's ice storm -- including 10 from carbon-monoxide poisoning -- and officials are waiting for confirmation on other deaths, Beshear said.

"We are in the middle of the biggest natural disaster that this state has ever experienced, at least in modern history," he said yesterday.

Louisville officials said meanwhile that, while the cleanup won't cost as much as the one after September's windstorm, the expense should still qualify the city for federal assistance.

After the remnants of Hurricane Ike pummeled Louisville in September, the city submitted $3.4 million in cleanup expenses to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Mayor Jerry Abramson.

While ice storm expenses are still coming in and no total has been reached, Abramson said yesterday that he expects the cost of cleaning up debris and overtime for public works, fire and emergency medical personnel should reach the federal threshold of $2.174 million.

That threshold is based on overtime costs and expenses that fall outside of normally budgeted costs. Once it is met, the city is eligible to be reimbursed for 87 percent of its expenses.

Part of what will drive up the recovery costs will be picking up debris.

Three drop-off sites for that debris will open today throughout the city. Residents -- not businesses or contractors -- can drop off debris for free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And the city's public works crews will begin collecting debris in neighborhoods starting Feb. 9. The mayor said that's meant to give residents time to place it at curbside.

Crews will move from neighborhood to neighborhood -- moving in the reverse order used after the September windstorm.

Jack Fish, who lives on Trevilian Way, said yesterday that he figures he has a couple of weekends' worth of work to get all the branches that have fallen in his yard.

Fish, who lost several tree limbs in September, said he wasn't surprised to see more branches down last week.

"Fortunately, I have a truck and a chain saw," he said. "It's just the price of having trees I guess."

'We've made progress'

Crews continued to work throughout Louisville and the surrounding areas to restore electricity to about 49,000 customers who remained in the cold and dark yesterday.

Chip Keeling, a spokesman for LG&E, said much progress had been made, but advances could slow as crews work on circuits that contain fewer customers and in places that are harder to reach.

"We've made progress," Keeling said.

But the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Louisville and the surrounding area starting at 4 a.m. today.

Snow was expected to begin as flurries after midnight, leading to a possibility of 1 to 3 inches, said Robert Szappanos, a meteorologist in Louisville.

At least 255,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity throughout Kentucky yesterday, said Andrew Melnykovych, a spokesman for the state Public Service Commission. That does not include those who receive electricity from municipal utilities.

National Guard members continued to make the rounds in areas hardest hit to make sure residents get what they needed, including food and water.

The state has also asked the federal government to pick up the costs of calling up those 4,600 Guard members.

More than 7,000 Kentuckians remain in 165 shelters across the state, Beshear said.

Indiana improves

Duke Energy said last night that it had only 91 customers in Indiana's Clark and Floyd counties without electricity, down from a peak of 40,000 last week.

The snow forecast for today isn't as serious a threat to electric lines as last week's ice, said Jeff Janes, Duke's regional manager.

David Hosea, Jeffersonville's Streets and Sanitation Commissioner, said he was watching the forecasts carefully and let all employees leave work yesterday by 3 p.m. so they would be rested if he had to call them back this morning to clear snow from city streets.

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081. Reporters Ben Z. Hershberg and Stephenie Steitzer contributed to this story.  

Mississippi crew assists in winter storm recovery

Associated Press - February 1, 2009

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - More than 250 crew members from Mississippi were expected to be in Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri Monday helping to restore power to thousands of homes hit by the ice storm last week.

The bulk of the crews were sent to Kentucky where demand was greater. The power outages crippled pumping stations and cut off water supplies.

The storm that began in the Midwest has been blamed or suspected in at least 42 deaths, including nine in Arkansas.

More than 400,000 Kentucky homes and businesses still lacked electricity Sunday. Authorities say it could be weeks before power is restored in some spots.

Ron Stewart, a spokesman for Electric Power Association of Mississippi, says the EPA has a mutual agreement with other states to assist during emergency situations.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal,

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Texas warms up after 6 weather-related deaths

© 2009 The Associated Press

Jan. 28, 2009

DALLAS — Frozen northern Texas started thawing out Wednesday, a day after ice-related traffic accidents boosted the death toll from the cold snap to at least six people.

The high in Amarillo had already reached 50 by early afternoon after an overnight low of 5, said Chris Nuttall, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the Panhandle city.

Part of the explanation for the wild temperature swing was fairly simple: the ever-present Texas drought. The cold front that brought freezing temperatures wasn't overloaded with moisture, Nuttall said, so it didn't take long for temperatures to climb when the sun came back out.

"It's just so dry right now," Nuttall said. "There's no moisture in the air. The moisture will kind of keep it from warming up quite so much."

The warmup was a little slower in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where the slow-motion Wednesday morning commute wasn't too big of a problem because so few drivers were on the roads. Most schools and many businesses in the area were closed.

Dallas police reported 94 traffic accidents from midnight to 9 a.m. Tuesday, but most of them were minor.

"I think a lot of folks really listened to the weather reports and probably stayed home," said Sgt. Gil Cerda. "I think that probably contributed to the lower numbers. I drove in this morning's traffic, and traffic was relatively light. I was kind of surprised."

The temperature broke freezing early Tuesday afternoon at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, said Jason Dunn of the weather service's Fort Worth office. Dunn said ice accumulations were about as expected, ranging from a tenth to a quarter of an inch.

"It's just really cold, and with the ice on the ground, it takes a little longer for it to warm up," Dunn said.

The Austin area had its share of icy headaches Wednesday morning. Austin television station KXAN reported that a 20-car pileup snarled traffic on a busy overpass in the northern part of the city. One person with minor injuries was taken to a hospital, the station reported.

Most of the damage was done Tuesday, when five people died in separate traffic accidents. Four of those deaths were in West Texas. Another person died Monday in Vernon, about 185 miles northwest of Dallas.

Authorities were investigating if weather played a role in the death of the unidentified man Tuesday night in Dallas. They were looking into whether the man slipped on a patch of ice and fell off a bridge when he got out of his car after a crash.

About 1,500 travelers spent the night in terminals at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, said airport spokesman Ken Capps. About 185 of the 900 daily flights there were canceled Tuesday and another 125 were canceled early Wednesday, he said. Airport officials said they were expecting operations to return to normal as temperatures moved above freezing.

"It was a tough couple of days for our passengers, but our airport operations and customer service teams worked very hard to keep everyone as comfortable as possible," Capps said.

Weather Contributes to 1 Death in City, 2 Others in Southern Indiana
Friday, January 30, 2009
(Source: Washington Times-Herald)trackingBy Nate Smith, Washington Times-Herald, Ind.

Jan. 30--The weather emergencies for Daviess and Martin counties were lifted Thursday but one death is being blamed on the winter storm.

Washington resident Donald "Ed" Hedrick, 68, 300 S. Meridian St., died due to a heart attack while shoveling snow outside his home Wednesday. Hedrick's death was one of three across the state attributed to the weather, according to the state Department of Homeland Security.

The two other deaths include those of a resident in Jackson County who suffered a heart attack while shoveling snow and a Crawford County traffic crash victim on Tuesday.

Area schools will remain closed today and basketball games scheduled for tonight have been postponed.

One of the main problems now, according to road superintendents in Washington and Daviess County, is ice.

"What we've got down has to work in (to the road) a little bit," Washington Street Department Superintendent Ernie Evans said. "It's going to take a little bit of time with the ice."

After the first layer of snow Monday and the second on Tuesday, an inch of freezing rain created a lot of ice on the roads. Evans said with the compaction of the snow and the freezing rain, a lot of ice and slush is left.

"We are down to that freezing rain now and it is packed," Evans said. "You've got three layers and it is hard to work with."

The city has placed 250 tons of salt and sand on city roads so far and have another 250 tons of salt and sand plus another 150 tons of just salt in reserve. Today, the city will be working on getting the downtown area clean, along with as many roads as they can.

"We will have all trucks out there (in the city)," Evans said. "We will probably be out this weekend."

In the county, Highway Department Superintendent Larry McLin said the county has used 200 tons of salt and sand on the roads and had seven graders on gravel roads Thursday.

"(The gravel roads) are our last priority," McLin said.

After snow routes were cleared, the gravel roads came next on the clearing list. McLin said if any roads in subdivisions haven't been cleared by now, they would get to them after the gravel roads.

Although the highway department has logged overtime since the storm began, they have not been out during the evening. McLin said the policy of keeping county highway department workers off the road without sun, a policy the county enacted in the mid-1990s, was in effect.

"This county has a policy that we don't do that unless there is some light out because of the danger," McLin said.

As for county roads, McLin said the mixture of snow and ice has been just as bad as it is in the city. He said the roads heading east to west are very deep due to snow drifts but the roads that are north-south roads did not seem to be as bad.

Washington City Utility had a power outage at about 6 p.m. Thursday when a tree took out a power line. Workers had to turn off power to even more houses in order to fix the problem.

But at least most of the area still has power today, Daviess County Emergency Management Director Paul Goss said.

"I went down to Crawford County yesterday and some parts don't have electricity and they won't have it for a few days," Goss said.

Goss said the roads will continue to be a hazard as the ice melts, due to melting and refreezing of the water during the nights.

Utility crews in Southern Indiana found their work slow going Thursday as they spent a second day trying to restore power outages caused by the icy punch of this week's winter storm.

The nearly 90,000 homes and businesses that remained without electricity were concentrated in and around Evansville and the counties near Louisville, Ky. That was the greatest lingering fallout from the storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on central Indiana as utility companies estimated it could be early next week before all outages are fixed.

Utility companies had hundreds of extra workers in from other states to help their crews restore power over the next few days, but it was difficult to fix lines that buckled under up to three-quarters of an inch of ice.

"We have to spend one, two or three hours just removing trees before we can repair," said Vectren spokeswoman Chase Kelley. "We have to do a lot of clearing of debris before we can begin the restoration process."

Vectren had more than 55,000 outages in the Evansville area as of midday Thursday -- down from Wednesday's peak of 70,000 when about half of its customers there were without electricity. The utility expects to restore power to all its customers by early next week.

Duke Energy reported about 33,000 outages as of midday Thursday, mostly in Clark and Floyd counties near Louisville. That was about one-third of Duke's total reported outages from the storm.

Duke spokeswoman Angeline Protogere said power should be restored to most of its customers by Saturday night, although some isolated outages were expected to persist until Sunday in the Clarksville, Jeffersonville and New Albany areas.

Many school districts in central and southern Indiana remained closed for a second day Thursday and some announced Friday closings as travel remained difficult in rural areas. Some rural counties continued asking drivers to stay off roads as fallen limbs and drifting snow complicated cleanup work.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright (c) 2009, Washington Times-Herald, Ind.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Australian Nicole Lewis gets a taste of Steamboat Springs Thursday morning at the Steamboat Ski Area. The ski area surpassed the 100-inch mark for the month of January this week.

January hits 100 inches

Storm pushes snow total past century mark for 2nd-consecutive month

— Skiers and riders on Mount Werner romped in a snowfall of historic dimensions Thursday, as the Steamboat Ski Area put up a second-consecutive month with 100 inches or more of snow falling at mid-mountain.

Steamboat Springs had recorded 13 inches of snow in the preceding 24 hours when the official measurement was taken at 5 a.m., pushing the January total to 104 inches and nearly 125 at the summit. The century mark has been eclipsed 15 times in the past 30 years, but back-to-back months reaching that level have been a relative rarity. Although the event has become commonplace this winter and last, no one is yawning — Thursday’s conditions were enough to make Cole Richter and his friends laugh out loud.

“We went up and skied East Face, and it was one constant face shot all the way down,” Richter said. “We laughed all the way.”

Steamboat skiers are being reminded of last winter, when the ski area saw 126 inches of snowfall at mid-mountain in December 2007, followed by 129 inches in January 2008 and 104 inches in February. It was a snow record that had never been seen before and led to the all-time record of 489 inches for the season.

Richter, who has visited Steamboat for 19 straight winters from his home in Madison, Wis., is spending his first full season at the resort. He had the foresight Wednesday night to rent a pair of fat powder skis that made his Thursday skiing experience that much better.

“When I got into some of the tracked stuff, they just pushed right through the push piles,” he said.

In spite of the fact that most of the fresh snow on the mountain had fallen during the day Wednesday, Richter and his companions found plenty of untracked snow Thursday.

“The snow was falling so fast yesterday, your tracks were filling up every third run,” Richter said.

Somber side

Steamboat Ski Patrol Direc­tor John Kohnke introduced a sobering note to Thursday’s news, reminding skiers and snowboarders that the deep snow piling up around the base of evergreen trees on the upper mountain poses a danger.

Steamboat recorded two fatalities last winter attributable to people who fell head first into tree wells and succumbed before they could be rescued. Both deaths took place along intermediate trails in Morningside Park. A 22-year-old man from Massachusetts suffocated in the deep snow and a 45-year-old man from Pennsylvania died under similar circumstances.

“Deep snow conditions re­­quire extra caution,” Kohnke warned. “Always ski and ride with others and stay clear of tree wells and other natural and manmade obstacles on the mountain.”

So much snow

Steamboat was emerging Thursday night from a week-long storm cycle that had produced 46 inches at mid-mountain and 56 inches at the summit.

Since the ski area opened Nov. 26, snow has fallen 44 out of 67 days, with 28 of those days recording four or more inches. So far this season at mid-mountain, Steamboat has seen a total of 244 inches — or more than 20 feet — of snowfall.

Since the winter of 1979-80, Steam­boat has recorded 100 inches of snow seven times in December and eight times in January. December 2008 and January 2009 combined to produce the fourth incidence in resort history that the mark has been recorded in back-to-back months.

Kevin Larson, of New Or­leans, skiing Steamboat for the first time in a decade, discovered Thursday that he didn’t have to go up the big mountain to find untracked snow. He and a companion instead opted to ski historic Howelsen Hill.

Carrying skis over his shoulder on Lincoln Avenue at dusk, he talked about his day.

“We found lots of that powder, but every time I went into it, I bogged down and stopped,” Larson said.


Winter blast blamed for damage, deaths


CNN) -- A massive winter storm system that left a deadly swath of ice and snow from Texas to Maine pushed into Canada early Thursday, leaving emergency officials to tally the damage.

The storm caused at least 17 deaths and cut power to more than a million homes across the Midwest, according to state emergency management agencies.

While the massive storm dropped sleet and ice across the Mid-South and Midwest, it changed to a snowmaker by the time it reached the Northeast, the National Weather Service said.

Snowfall amounts topped 10 inches in portions of New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maine. Sixteen inches of snow fell on Sunapee, New Hampshire, while Eminence, Missouri, collected five inches of ice and sleet.

The storm left "absolutely everything in northwest Arkansas ... at a standstill," an Arkansas police officer said. Video Watch ice damage trees in Arkansas »

"It's hard to walk, let alone drive," Fayetteville, Arkansas, police officer Dan Baker said. "It looks like tornado damage."

He added, "Our officers are wearing metal cleats just so they can walk the streets." Send your wintry weather photos, videos

Northwest Arkansas has been hit hard, and schools and universities were closed throughout the state. Photo See the impact of the storms »

"It's like a ghost town," Barbara Rademacher of Rogers, Arkansas, said Wednesday morning.

"It's just white and ice," Rademacher said while looking out her kitchen window at a street devoid of traffic and littered with the ice-weighted branches of oak trees.

"The roads are impassable, and there are shelters set up in every community because there are so many people with power out," she said.

The storms were extending their reach into the New England states Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued freezing rain, ice and winter storm warnings from Texas up through the Ohio Valley and into New England

As of Wednesday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission reported at least 27,621 homes and businesses affected by power outages across the state. The commission office was closed Wednesday because of the icy conditions.

For Dorenda Coks, assistant manager at City Bites in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the winter blast was a completely new experience.

The Jamaica native is experiencing her first winter in Oklahoma and wasn't prepared for the cold.

"You just try to stay warm," Coks said.


About 114K still without power in north Arkansas

Many north Arkansas residents will spend another week without electricity as utility crews work to replace thousands of poles and eventually work house to house to restore power.

About 114,000 customers were without service Monday morning, a week after the start of a stretch of freezing rain that left two inches or more of ice on much of the northern part of the state. A peak of about 350,000 homes and businesses had no electricity after the storm.

Arkansas Electric Cooperatives had about 65,000 customers without power Monday morning. Entergy Arkansas had 49,364 customers out, mostly in the Blytheville, Harrison and Yellville areas. Entergy Arkansas spokesman James Thompson said service would be restored to the bulk of Entergy customers by late Wednesday night, although others may not get power until Friday or Saturday.

Arkansas Electric Cooperatives peaked at 198,000 customers out during the winter storm; Entergy peaked at 111,000 outages.

Crews working to restore power have been discovering additional broken or downed poles. Arkansas Electric Cooperatives vice president of systems Doug White said Sunday the utility's count of broken poles in its service area had surpassed 11,000. Workers have to clear the area of debris, then it takes an experienced crew 1 1/2 hours to install a new pole, he said. White said materials suppliers were working around the clock to supply poles, line and other items needed for repairs.

Entergy Arkansas said thousands of its own workers and other utilities were taking part in the restoration effort. Entergy brought in additional off-road equipment, including tracked bucket trucks, bulldozers and two helicopters for aerial assessment.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission said it provided bulldozer and chain saw crews to a half dozen areas in north Arkansas.

Mel Coleman, chief executive of the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, asked Sunday that residents not approach line crews.

"We have seen this grow to a major problem today," Coleman said in a news release. "This is very dangerous to the public and to our workers."

Damage assessment got under way Saturday, with local, state and federal officials looking at damage to bridges, roads, water treatment plants and other infrastructure. Insurance adjusters also continued to get a look at the storm's effects.

Freezing rain began falling Jan. 26, and nine deaths were attributed to the storm, including that of Trumann Police Chief Larry Neal "Red" Blagg, who was killed Tuesday by a falling limb.

Hundreds turned out for a Saturday funeral for Blagg, 39, who was remembered as a husband and father who worked to keep drugs out of the community. Blagg worked at the Trumann department for 17 years.

2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
© Copyright 2009, UALR Public Radio

2 fire deaths may be storm-related

LG&E still has 83,000 lacking power

By Martha Elson, Peter Smith and Jeffrey Lee Puckett 

The Courier-Journal • February 2, 2009

A fire that killed two young brothers in Louisville early yesterday morning may be connected to last week's ice storm, while hundreds of thousands remained without power across Kentucky amid hazards from power lines, carbon monoxide and flooding from the thawing ice.

The victims of the fire in the Park DuValle neighborhood were Kierren Lindsey, 9, and Kaden Labron Lindsey, 4, said Sgt. Salvador Melendez, a Louisville Fire & Rescue spokesman. Both died of smoke inhalation, according to Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Rita Taylor.

Power had been restored to the home on Woodland Avenue near 32nd Street about an hour before the blaze, which was reported about 3 a.m. The family had been using candles, but a cause hasn't been determined, Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick said.

At 4:30 p.m. yesterday, 83,000 homes and businesses served by Louisville Gas & Electric still lacked power, down from about 205,000 on Wednesday.

"We've made good headway," Chip Keeling, a spokesman for E.On U.S., the parent firm of LG&E and Kentucky Utilities, said during a media briefing. Some 2,700 workers are "going to keep working 24 hours a day" until power is fully restored, he said.

E.On officials estimated that power wouldn't be fully restored until at least Wednesday and as late as Saturday.

Across the state, more than 360,000 homes and businesses had no electricity yesterday afternoon, the Kentucky Public Service Commission said. At the peak of the outages, more than 700,000 were without power.

The mild weather yesterday made it easier for crews to work, but the soggy ground made it harder to bring heavy vehicles to damaged power lines, Keeling said. He said in some cases workers had to climb poles instead of using more efficient bucket trucks.

Worker is injured

A utility worker was taken to University Hospital with burns after touching a live wire on Natchez Lane in the St. Matthews area yesterday, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said. The worker was conscious and expected to be OK.

An unconscious woman was rescued by firefighters after an acquaintance who hadn't heard from her called police. The woman had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from an improperly ventilated generator, said McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth.

She was one of two people treated for monoxide poisoning in the previous 24 hours, officials said yesterday.

"I am urging people to continue to check on family members and neighbors," Abramson said.

The number of Kentucky deaths confirmed to be related to the storm has increased to 16, the state Division of Emergency Management said yesterday.

Spokeswoman Monica French said those deaths were due to carbon monoxide poisoning, accidents or hypothermia.

She said two more deaths are being investigated as storm-related.

Four deaths in Louisville have been linked to the storm.

Three people -- William Matthews, 62, his wife, Beverly Matthews, 54, and their adopted daughter, Mona Stephens, 46 -- died of carbon monoxide poisoning Friday at their western Louisville home, which had a generator going in the garage.

And Nywot Chol, 44, of Louisville died early Saturday after burning charcoal in a grill inside his apartment in the Lake Dreamland area; carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected.

Other problems

Officials said a garage fire yesterday was attributed to the use of a kerosene heater.

The Louisville Water Co. said 11 water mains have broken, believed to be from pressure from the frozen ground.

A warm front moved into the Louisville area yesterday, with the temperature reaching 54 degrees. The comparatively balmy weather will continue through today, with highs in the low 40s, but another cold front will move in tomorrow and stick around until Friday, said Joe Ammerman, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

"Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be the really cold days," Ammerman said. "If the surface temperature drops below freezing then what's melted can refreeze."

The Metropolitan Sewer District said its crews have been clearing clogged catch basins to enable water to drain, and it urges residents to clean debris around any catch basins near their homes.

Officials said they have received about 75 calls about frozen pipes bursting in homes -- sometimes when power is restored and frozen pipes begin to thaw out.

Western Kentucky

Some of the worst problems have been in the western half of the state, where Kentucky Army and Air National Guard members are helping clear debris to let utility crews reach remote areas. They also have been going house to house in rural areas to check on residents.

"It's going to be a long haul for us," Gov. Steve Beshear said yesterday as he toured hard-hit areas in and around Elizabethtown. "We've thrown everything we have at it. We're going to continue to do that until everyone is back in their homes and back on their feet."

On Saturday, the governor mobilized the state's entire National Guard, throwing about 4,600 members into the storm recovery effort.

To aid efforts in Western Kentucky, the Kentucky National Guard will take 50 Humvees to areas with limited access for house-to-house checks of the homebound and to help reach downed transmission lines.

The Kentucky Air National Guard 123rd Airlift Wing flew 100 Guard members to Columbus, Ohio, yesterday afternoon to pick up the Humvees, said Sgt. Phil Speck, a Guard spokesman. The Humvees will be driven back today and "dispersed throughout the state in trouble areas," primarily in Western Kentucky, Speck said.

The Kentucky Air National Guard deployed 173 airmen to Hardinsburg early yesterday to aid relief efforts, primarily for house-to-house checks.

"They're having some real access issues in Western Kentucky because so many trees are still down," said Andrew Melnykovych, a PSC spokesman. "Hopefully when these crews working the Louisville area and Lexington area are done they can head out to the western part of the state."

Fires pose danger

Numerous fires have been reported over the past week in Louisville as people left without power tried to heat their homes by other means.

Frederick, the Louisville fire chief, said that when power is restored, people should make sure to extinguish candles or turn off heaters they had been using.

In the Park DuValle fire, a sibling, Kijana Maddox, 13, was transported to Kosair Children's Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, Melendez said. Kijana was treated and released, according to the hospital.

An uncle, Trevor Maddox, 18, was at the house with an 18-year-old male friend and the two helped get Kijana out of the house, Melendez said.

The two also tried to help the brothers, who were in a back bedroom, but the fire was too heavy, Melendez said.

The fire spread to two adjacent homes, but nobody appeared to be home there, he said.

It took about 35 firefighters roughly half an hour to get the blaze under control.

Trevor Maddox told firefighters that he and his friend smelled something that "didn't smell right," Melendez said.

Because of the cold weather and slippery conditions with snow and ice still on the ground, firefighters "were facing a very challenging situation," Melendez said.

A water main break also flooded 32nd Street, and Melendez said it could have been related to the use of water in the area by firefighters.

The house that caught fire was at 3112 Woodland, and the others were at 3110 and 3114.

The house at 3112 was essentially a total loss, and the two adjacent houses were significantly damaged, Melendez said.

Reporter Peter Smith can be reached at or (502) 582-4469. Reporter Jeffrey Lee Puckett can be reached at or (502) 582-4160. Reporter Martha Elson can be reached at or (502) 582-7061.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Ice Storm Causes 5 Traffic Deaths, Power Outage In Oklahoma, Texas


Windsor Genova - AHN News Writer

Oklahoma City, OK (AHN) - A severe winter storm on Monday caused road accidents that killed five people in Oklahoma and Texas and cut power to some 5,200 customers in the Sooner State.

Two people died in Oklahoma while three were killed in Texas, according to authorities.

In Chandler, Oklahoma, a truck driver skidded off an icy turnpike killing him. An accident on Interstate 44 near Afton killed another motorist.

In North Texas, a slippery overpass sent a vehicle crashing into an ambulance killing one person, Vernon Fire Department Chief Kent Smead said, according to the Associated Press.

Slippery roads also killed a 46-year-old motorist in Jasper County and a 39-year-old woman in Christian County when their respective cars smashed into a tree, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.

The Emergency Medical Services Authority responded to 30 accidents in Tulsa and more than 50 car accidents in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry placed 77 counties under a state of emergency


Trumann police chief hit by icy tree limb, dies  

Associated Press - January 28, 2009

TRUMANN, Ark. (AP) - The police chief of Trumann was killed while helping his community during the winter storm yesterday. Chief Larry Blagg was killed when a tree branch laden with ice broke and fell on him as he was helping move fallen branches. Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters says Blagg went into cardiac arrest. The 40-year-old police chief died on the way to the hospital. The winter storm is moving east this morning but left about 500,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas without power and the roads in the northern part of the state iced over. At least three other deaths in Arkansas were blamed on the weather.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  

Weather deaths climb to four in France, 15 Europe-wide

Europe News

Jan 24, 2009,

Paris - The death toll Saturday climbed to four in France in a fierce winter storm that has claimed 15 lives Europe-wide, French officials said.

French meteorologists said it was the worst storm to hit the country in ten years, and compared winds which reached 184 kilometres an hour in Perpignan to hurricane Lothar which swept across western and central Europe in December 1999.

Two people were crushed by trees which fell on their cars. A 78- year-old man was felled by flying debris on his property. A woman who depended on a respirator to keep her alive at home died when the electricity went out. In total, 1.7 million households were without power in France alone.

The airports in Bordeaux and Toulouse were closed for hours-long stretches. Train service and car traffic was mostly stilled by fallen trees and utility poles.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy planned to visit the affected area on Sunday.

Authorities placed 15 departements in the area on high alert and advised the public to stay indoors. The Red Cross was called in to assist stranded travellers.

Streets were blocked by uprooted trees and railway lines were also affected, with trains stranded which were carrying hundreds of passengers. The Aquitaine bridge was closed to traffic. Winter sport facilities in the Pyrenees were also closed.

Many people were left homeless when winds ripped the roofs from their houses. Tens of thousands of French residents were also incommunicado, as the storm disrupted both landline and mobile phone service.

Harry Scull Jr / Buffalo News
A car sits up against the guardrail Wednesday after spinning out of control in the snow on the Youngmann Highway in Amherst. More than seven inches fell in the metro area, causing the usual traffic problems and fender benders.

01/29/09 01:38 PM

Record snowfall hits on Blizzard Day

But storm can’t compare with behemoth of ’77


It’s January. We’re in Buffalo. So, yes, it snowed. Wednesday, the anniversary of the infamous Blizzard of ’77, all of Western New York got a healthy helping of snow — at least a half foot in most places.

Weather watchers measured 7.1 inches of snow at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, breaking the record for the day set five years ago when 6.6 inches fell at the airport.

“Six point six is pretty good,” allowed National Weather Service meteorologist Steve McLaughlin. “I guess you could call that a record.”

But the storm that hit us Wednesday, compared with the one 32 years ago, was really quite mild, causing only the usual traffic tie-ups, spin-outs, fender benders and all the headaches that go with such things.

There was just a little wind. The temperatures stayed in the seasonable mid-20s range. And the bulk of it wasn’t even lake-effect snow.

The snow fell rather evenly across the region Wednesday, although a few Southern Tier towns in the higher elevations had more, particularly Perrysburg, which saw 11 inches.

As evening came, the wind started to pick up and the area was subjected to a quick burst of blowing snow, said meteorologist Bill Hibbert. Gusts of 30 to 35 mph were reported, but that was expected to diminish by morning.

The weather system was actually “the same storm that went from Texas to Maine” and is wreaking all sorts of havoc in other parts of the nation, McLaughlin said.

Kentucky and Arkansas have been particularly hard hit. More than one million people are without power nationwide. The storm has been blamed for at least 23 deaths since Monday.

In Buffalo, the situation was nowhere near as serious.

But with Mayor Byron W. Brown facing heavy criticism over plowing problems from the last substantial snowstorm, the city’s Public Works Department was busy trying to keep up with the steady, heavy snowfall that fell throughout the day.

“Sometimes, a quick foot of snow is easier to deal with,” said Public Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak. “This snow event has been a pretty constant grind.”

Throughout Wednesday, the city had between 32 and 35 pieces of snow-fighting equipment on the streets at any one time — the norm for a major snow event, Stepniak said. While much of the focus has been on keeping main thoroughfares open, crews also plowed many side streets, he said.

“One of the important things was to get to the residential streets around the schools,” he said.

There were no major plowing- related problems reported around Buffalo public schools, said district spokesman Stefan Mychajliw.

City Hall received about 140 snow-related complaints during the storm, based on figures compiled by The Buffalo News after visiting all nine Common Council offices and the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center. Some of the calls may have been duplicate complaints involving the same issue, officials noted.

About two-thirds of all complaints involved unshoveled sidewalks or requests to clear walkways, officials said. More than 30 calls involved complaints about unplowed or unsalted city streets. Another dozen callers raised concerns about slippery conditions on the Kensington Expressway, which is maintained by state transportation crews.

In the first few hours that the Mayor's Call and Resolution Center was open today, City Hall received more than 70 plowing-related complaints. The vast majority of the calls involved conditions on side streets, said Robert A. Kreutinger of the Citizen Services Division.

Kreutinger said some callers requested that plows to return to their streets because vehicles had been moved since public works crews last came around. Illegally parked cars are a common problem crews face when they try to remove snow on narrow streets, officials said. The city is poised to make changes in alternate-parking rules on many streets.

About 90 people also called the mayor's hotline today to complain about unshoveled sidewalks or to seek help in cleaning walkways. Nearly a dozen of the complaints involved sidewalks that border city-owned property.

Overall, City Hall officials said the volume of complaints was relatively light, given the steady snow that blanketed the region from the predawn hours through the evening. Council Majority Leader Richard A. Fontana said he thinks many residents recognize the difficulty of keeping roads clear when snowfalls last for long periods.

A block club leader whose group represents residents on dozens of streets in Lovejoy and South Buffalo agreed with Fontana. Arthur Robinson Jr., president of the Seneca-Babcock Community Block Club, said people realize crews can only accomplish so much when an inch or so of snow blankets streets every couple of hours for prolonged periods.

Over the next couple of days, the temperatures are expected to remain in the low to mid-20s, and the Buffalo area may be treated to some very minor lake-effect snow showers.

Come Sunday and Monday, temperatures are expected to rise close to 40, McLaughlin said. and

Updated: 01/27/09 02:15 PM

This January is 18th coldest in 139 years in Western New York


Are you starting to feel that this is an historically cold January?

Well, you're right, and now the National Weather Service has the numbers to prove it.

So far, with five days to go, this has been the 18th coldest January in the last 139 years.

For the record, the average daily January temperature, through Sunday, was 18.7 degrees.

And there’s nothing in this week’s forecast to change that finger-numbing pattern in the next few days. The National Weather Service is calling for overnight lows in the teens and daytime highs in the 20s through the rest of the week.

And here’s more good news: Forecasters are now predicting that the region could see an additional 6 inches of snow overnight tonight.

It’s all making for a memorably miserable month.

“We don’t see a big January thaw coming,” meteorologist Tom Niziol said. “Based on the forecast for the rest of the week, this almost guarantees that we’ll be in the top 20 for the coldest January.”

Niziol, working with National Weather Service statistical guru Dave Sage, used each day’s average daily temperature — the average of the day’s high and low temperatures — and then took the monthly average of those daily numbers.

The coldest January on record?

The blizzard year, 1977, when the average daily January temperature was a frigid 13.8 degrees. The warmest was 1932, when the average January temperature was 37.2 degrees.

The top five coldest Januarys in the Buffalo area all date back more than 30 years, and all but 1977 date back more than 60 years.

Does that say anything about global warming?

“Those few statistics are not enough to make an objective statement about whether this has anything to say about global warming,” Niziol said. “But those are fascinating statistics.”

While anyone who has ventured outside on a daily basis can testify to how cold it’s been, this hasn’t been an unusually cold winter season. December ranked as 74th coldest out of 139 years, or almost right in the middle.

But that changed this month.

“We got locked into a pattern across Eastern America that essentially opened the gates for several outbreaks of Arctic air from central Canada across the Great Lakes,” Niziol said.

Despite how cold it’s been, Niziol pointed out that this January has failed to see a record-breaking cold day. The coldest reported temperature this month was minus-3 degrees on the 21, but that was seven degrees warmer than the record low for that date, minus-10 degrees in 1985.

Some people might be surprised that the coldest January ever was during the Blizzard of ’77, an event perhaps better known for its high winds and ridiculous amounts of blowing snow.

Niziol, who has lectured on the subject, called that the “perfect storm” of nasty conditions, including a 38-inch snowpack before the blizzard, sustained winds of 30 mph, consistent single-digit temperatures and an unrelenting storm that lasted for four days.

“That’s what made it a life-threatening event and translated into 29 deaths,” he said.

Compared with that, this month is Miami Beach.


France, Spain pick up the pieces after fierce storm kills 24

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009,

French and Spanish rescuers on Sunday scrambled to reopen railways, douse forest fires and restore power to nearly a million homes plunged into darkness by a violent storm that killed 24 people in southern Europe.

“The priority today is to re-­establish the electricity as quickly as possible,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said as he visited a town in the southwestern region that bore the brunt of Saturday’s storm.

The majority of the deaths were in Spain, where four children died near Barcelona when the roof and a wall of a sports hall were brought down on their heads by winds that in some places reached more than 180kph.

They were playing baseball outside the center in Sant Boi de Llobregat as the storm — which saw 20m high waves battering the Atlantic coast — gathered force and they ran inside to shelter.

Witnesses said they heard a loud sound, then saw that the roof and part of a wall had crumpled.

The storm was one of the fiercest to hit western Europe in a decade. It blew in eastwards from the Atlantic Ocean, barreling across southwest France and northern Spain — ripping roofs off houses, pulling down power lines and flattening hundreds of thousands of trees.

On Sunday it battered Italy, where a young woman was swept away to her death by a wave as she was walking on a beach near the southern city of Naples.

Rain also triggered a mudslide onto the main highway south of Naples, killing at least three people and injuring four, the Italian news agency ANSA reported citing firefighters.

Firefighters who pulled the dead and injured from the mud did not exclude that other people could be trapped under the landslide, which occurred on the main highway linking Salerno and Reggio di Calabria.

The winds had lost some of their force but were strong enough to destroy a restaurant in Imperia on the Mediterranean coast and to force some Italian ferry operators to cancel their sailings.

In Portugal, police and firefighters rescued 600 people who were stuck on roads blocked by snow and ice, officials said.

Eight people were killed in France, including four who inhaled carbon monoxide from electricity generators they used amid power outages in two separate incidents.

Two drivers were killed by falling trees on Saturday in the Landes department, while flying debris killed a 78-year-old outside his home. A 73-year-old woman died in the Gironde department when a power cut halted her breathing machine.

Twelve people died in total in Spain, including a woman who was crushed by a wall, another who died after a door lifted by the wind slammed into her, and a police sergeant killed by a falling tree as he was directing traffic.

Hundreds of Spanish firefighters — backed up by 14 planes and helicopters — battled three separate forest fires sparked by electricity pylons brought down by the tempest in northeastern Spain.

The fires were under control by Sunday evening, officials said.

Some Of 1.4 Million Without Power After U.S. Ice Storm May Not Get It Back Until Mid-Feb.

Thursday January 29, 2009
The storm that lashed the GTA with another 10-15 centimetres of snow on Wednesday has moved off and while we're digging out, the worst is over for us.

But for those in parts of the U.S. hit by the same disturbance, the suffering is just beginning.

The massive system that just brushed Toronto hit like a weather freight train down south, and has left countless residents in the dark and cold with no timeframe about when their lives will get back to normal.

The problem for most wasn't the snow - although there was plenty of that - but the ice, which clung heavily to trees and power lines, bringing down both and leading to widespread blackouts. Glazed roads coated with slippery surfaces are making it harder for crews to reach the areas where repairs are the most badly needed, complicating efforts to restore hydro.

More than 1.4 million families are without any electricity in an area stretching from Oklahoma to West Virginia. Some 350,000 customers have no heat in Arkansas. About 500,000 are powerless in Kentucky. And that's just a best guess. Officials admit the totals could be much higher.

One Arkansas hydro spokesman calls it the equivalent of a winter tornado, as ice 7.6 centimetres thick hangs over some areas.

Many states have declared emergencies, opening up shelters and warming centres for those who are freezing inside their own homes.

The terrible weather has been blamed for 23 deaths, including six in Texas where the storm had its roots, and four more in Arkansas.

Travel is impossible in some places and schools and businesses remain closed for the foreseeable future until power can be restored.

But that might not happen anytime soon. Some officials are already warning it could be mid-February before they're able to get electricity back in the hardest hit areas. That's more than half a month away.



Results tagged “Ice storm” from KRMG Local News

Westville Starts Clean Up Following Winter Storm

Richard Dowdell
@ January 28, 2009
(Tulsa, Ok)--The mayor of the small east Oklahoma town of Westville says the place looks like a war zone. It was one of the hardest hit communities as an ice storm tracked across Oklahoma. Mayor Brian Sitsler says it will be some time before all the electricity is back and debris is cleaned up. Yet in the middle of the crisis he is proud of Westville citizens who have stepped forward to work together and get the town back on its feet. 

Red Cross Opens East Oklahoma Shelters

Richard Dowdell
@ January 27, 2009
 (Tulsa, Ok)--With hundreds of Muskogee area homes left without electricity because of the ice storm the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross opens two shelters. One is in Muskogee at the First United Methodist Church, 600 East Okmulgee. The other is in Checotah at the First Freewill Baptist Church, 713 North Broadway. Red Cross spokesperson Nellie Kelly says if more shelters are needed the Red Cross is prepared to open them up. She also points out during this weather crisis the Red Cross is in need of blood donations. Two blood centers are open in Tulsa. At 11th and Highway 169 and 71st and South Memorial.

Body Shops Busy Due to Wrecks on Icy Roads

Richard Dowdell
@ January 27, 2009
(Tulsa,Ok)--Smashed cars and trucks are lined up at auto body shops around the state hit hard by an ice storm. Brent Patterson at Sherrell Paint and Body in Tulsa says they are so busy repairs may take longer then normal. He is seeing plenty of front end damage from vehicles skidding into poles or other vehicles. Patterson notes the kind of damage from this recent ice storm is dfferent then car damage from the infamous December 2007 ice storm. He says back then many cars were totaled when tree limbs fell on them. This time most of the damage can be repaired.

Utilities take steps to minimize ice storm damage

Don Bishop
@ December 2, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - One year after a devastating ice storm hammered Oklahoma, utilities are taking steps to minimize the impact of a similar storm this winter season.

Officials with OG&E in Oklahoma City and Public Service Co. say they have been working to trim trees, bury some power lines and make a variety of improvements to their distribution systems. But both also acknowledge there is little that can be done to prevent widespread damage when a major ice storm hits.

Today, OG&E plans to file a request with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to recover $115 million in costs over the next six years associated with efforts to insulate the electric grid from severe weather.

Alford says the company is placing lines underground in new construction, aggressively trimming trees back from powerlines and installing ``breakaway'' connections at power poles that allow for quicker restoration of power in the event of a downed line.

The Dec. 8th ice storm that pounded Oklahoma in 2007 was blamed for 29 deaths and knocked out power to more than 640,000 homes and businesses.

Burying Power Lines

Paul Crockett
@ June 30, 2007

(Tulsa, OK) -- Keeping the lights on. A report on burying powerlines requested after December's ice storm is now ready for the state's corporation commissioners. Commission spokesman Matt Skinner says they found burying all lines would be cost prohibitive.  He says they do recommend burying the lateral lines, the kind of lines that run behind homes, in most cases. They also suggest making the entire system more resistant to the weather. The commissioners will now consider whether to make rule changes based on the report.


Shocking cold wave drops temps to 40 below zero

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Temperatures crashed to Arctic levels Tuesday as a severe cold wave rolled across the upper Midwest on the heels of yet another snowstorm, closing schools and making most people think twice before going outside. Early Wednesday, the cold front swept into New York, sending temperatures falling from the 30s a day before to single digits or below zero. It hit 8 below in Massena, on the St. Lawrence River in northern New York, with the wind chill making it feel like minus 25 degrees.

In Michigan, temperatures Wednesday morning ranged from minus 17 at Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula to 10 degrees in the southwestern Lower Peninsula and 12 on Beaver Island. Ironwood earlier recorded a temperature of minus 23.

Thermometers read single digits early in the day as far south as Kansas and Missouri, where some areas warmed only into the teens by midday.

The ice and snow that glazed pavement was blamed for numerous traffic accidents from Minnesota to Indiana, where police said a truck overturned and spilled 43,000 pounds of cheese, closing a busy highway ramp during the night in the Gary area.

The bitter cold snap was responsible for at least one death Tuesday.

A 51-year-old man in northern Wisconsin died from exposure after wandering from his Hayward home early Tuesday, authorities said. His son reported him missing and said he was prone to sleepwalking, and deputies followed footprints in the snow to find the man about 190 yards from his house, Sawyer County Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle said.

Some Minnesotans took it as just another winter day, even in the state's extreme northwest corner where thermometers bottomed out at 38 degrees below zero at the town of Hallock and the National Weather Service said the wind chill was a shocking 58 below.

"It's really not so bad," Robert Cameron, 75, said as he and several friends gathered for morning coffee at the Cenex service station in Hallock. "We've got clothing that goes with the weather. ... We're ready and rolling, no matter what."

"It's so beautiful. There's not a cloud in the sky," said Keith Anderson, 66. But he said that's not stopping him from skipping town at the end of the week to spend a couple of months in Nevada and Arizona.

Outside, one of the station's gas pumps froze up at least once, and assistant manager Terrie Franks had to go out to apply deicer spray.

"You definitely have to have gloves on because touching the cold metal — your hands are frozen," Franks said by telephone.

The weather service warned that exposed flesh can freeze in 10 minutes when the wind chill is 40 degrees below zero or colder.

At about 8 a.m., temperatures were minus 40 in International Falls and minus 35 in Roseau. Farther south, Minneapolis hit 18 below zero with a wind chill of 32 below and black ice was blamed for numerous accidents.

Two northern Minnesota ski areas, Spirit Mountain in Duluth and Giants Ridge near Biwabik, announced they would close for a second straight day Wednesday because of the dangerously low windchill.

In neighboring North Dakota, Grand Forks dropped to a record low of 37 below zero Tuesday morning, lopping six degrees off the old record set in 1979, the National Weather Service said.

Schools were closed because of the cold as far south as Iowa, and authorities in Grand Rapids, Mich., issued an extreme cold weather alert and went out urging the homeless to seek shelter.

AAA Michigan responded to 1,450 motorists across the state Tuesday morning, mostly to assist with dead batteries, spinouts and minor accidents after an early snowfall, said spokeswoman Nancy Cain.

The leading edge of the cold air was expected to strike the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and South late Tuesday and Wednesday. And meteorologists warned that a second wave could drop temperatures into the single digits Thursday and Friday in the mid-Atlantic region.

The storm that blew through the upper Midwest on Monday dropped 6 inches of snow on Minot, N.D., on top of about a foot that fell late last week, and Bismarck collected 4 inches. Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks all broke snow records for December, each with more than 30 inches. They were outdone by Madison, Wis., which accumulated a record 40 inches for the month, the weather service said Tuesday.

Road departments have had little time to clear away the snow between storms, and North Dakota officials said snowplows would be pulled off the roads Tuesday night in the central and western parts of the state because of strong winds.

"Four-wheel drives are useless — people are just snowed in," said Rhonda Woodhams, office manager for Williams County, N.D. "People are calling in saying they're out of milk and diapers for their kids, or they have doctor appointments they need to get to. We're doing our best. And we don't need no more snow."

"It's like a sea of whiteness; people can't see the road," said Rebecca Arndt, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Mankato. "When the white fluffy stuff starts to blow, it is not pretty."

What was left of that snowstorm was blowing eastward along the Great Lakes, and the weather service posted winter storm warnings Tuesday for parts of Michigan, northern Indiana and Ohio's northwest corner. Up to 11 inches of new snow was possible in Detroit.

Winter weather advisories were in effect from North Dakota to Ohio and northeast into northern New England.

Associated Press writers Roger Petterson in New York and James MacPherson in Bismarck, N.D., contributed to this report.


5 killed as ice storm Midwest and South

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A winter storm stretched from Texas into Midwest on Monday, knocking out power to hundreds, making roads treacherous and leading to at least five traffic deaths.

As the storm moved across Oklahoma and sections of Texas, highway and emergency crews braced for icy conditions in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and the southern slices of Indiana and Illinois.

A truck driver died in Oklahoma when his semi skidded off an icy stretch of turnpike near Chandler, authorities said. The victim's name wasn't immediately released. Another deadly accident also occurred on Interstate 44 near Afton.

The storm knocked out power to about 5,200 customers Monday evening, 4,977 of which were in the west Oklahoma City suburb of Warr Acres.

In Tulsa, the Emergency Medical Services Authority responded to more than 30 accidents in less than one hour. Two ambulances were involved in crashes on slick streets, but no serious injuries were reported.

In Oklahoma City, EMSA responded to 219 emergency calls by late Monday afternoon, including 75 slips or falls and more than 50 car accidents.

"EMSA paramedics in Oklahoma City are currently in disaster mode," said spokeswoman Lara O'Leary. "We're literally running from hospital to call."

The storm forced the cancellation of classes at schools and universities across the state, including the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

Gov. Brad Henry declared a state of emergency for all 77 counties in Oklahoma, a move that paves the way for seeking federal assistance for ice storm damage.

In North Texas, one person died Monday after a vehicle hit an ambulance stopped at the scene of an unrelated wreck, said Vernon Fire Department Chief Kent Smead. The accident was caused by ice on a nearby overpass, he said.

Schools closed in dozens of Kentucky counties and highway workers salted roads in advance as forecasters warned of potentially severe snow and ice storms.

Highway crews have been preparing some areas in northern Arkansas.

"The way it's shaping up, it looks like it's going to be a major ice storm," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Buonanno said.

Law enforcement agencies responded to dozens of injury-causing accidents throughout the Ozarks region and into southeast Missouri. The Missouri Highway Patrol said a 46-year-old motorist died Monday afternoon when his sport utility vehicle slid off a Jasper County road and hit a tree. About 80 miles east in Christian County, the patrol said a 39-year-old woman died when the vehicle she was riding in ran off an ice-covered road near Rogersville and hit a tree.

Dozens of public school systems from southeast Kansas across southern Missouri called off activities Monday night and canceled classes Tuesday, when a second, heavier wave of ice and snow was expected to reach the region.

Many colleges followed suit. Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau was closed for Tuesday, while Missouri State University in Springfield canceled classes Monday night and was waiting to make a decision about Tuesday's classes


Europe Recovers From Killer Storm (25.01.2009),,3974113,00.html

18 Deaths

A major storm took the lives of people in Spain, France and Germany this weekend. Millions more are recovering from the damage Sunday, Jan. 25, in the wake of a storm dubbed Klaus by weather officials. -- The storm, which produced wind speeds of up to 194 kilometers per hour (km/h) as it tore across Europe, left a swath of destruction in its wake, with roads blocked, buildings destroyed, phone service out in much of southern France and train passengers returning home after spending much of Saturday in immobilized trains. Eighteen people are thought to have died. Spain suffered the highest death toll. (...) As the affected areas recovered from the storm Sunday, French energy provider EDF said millions of people remained without power across southern France and noted that repairs would take more than a day. Tens of thousands lacked phone service of any kind. Some families were homeless after the storm ripped the roofs off their houses. Authorities lifted bans on road use in France, though they noted that many trees continued to be in danger of collapse. In Spain, winds intensified two wildfires, forcing 15,000 people to evacuate their homes. In Galicia, a school and a swimming pool lost their roofs. Experts, in radio reports, compared the storm to a devastating winter storm which struck France and other parts of western and central Europe in 1999. Climate experts said the storm's destructive strength was further proof of the dangers of climate change

Arkansas Ice Storm was Worst in Modern History

Reported by: KARK 4 News

Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 @12:10pm CST

Last month's ice storm was the most destructive in Arkansas' modern history. Although the number of customers affected was not as great as the two back-to-back ice storms of December 2000, the damage caused by the 2009 storm was greater.

That's according to Entergy Arkansas in a filing with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) on Monday. The power company asked the commission to issue an accounting order that would allow it to defer storm restoration costs. Such an order would prevent any immediate financial impact on the company from the large cost of restoring service following the January ice storm.

Although no firm dollar amount was specified in the filing, the company disclosed an estimate in the range of $165 million to $200 million.

Meanwhile, the commission has opened a docket in which all the affected electric utility companies may file specific proposals for the recovery of extraordinary storm restoration expenses associated with the recent ice storm. Entergy Arkansas plans to file its plan for cost recovery in this proceeding after it has made a complete accounting of its expenditures made to restore service after the ice storm. 

At the peak of the outages on January 28, 111,818 Entergy Arkansas customers were without power across the northern counties of Arkansas. Entergy Arkansas brought in more than 5,000 linemen, field support personnel and tree trimmers from Entergy Arkansas’ sister operating companies in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, as well as numerous contractors and employees of other utility companies from as far away as Florida. By February 9th Entergy Arkansas had 100 percent of its customers restored.

Damage was extreme and extensive. There were almost 5,000 utility poles down or severely damaged, and more than 700 distribution transformers damaged.

In comparison, the dual ice storms of 2000 had 4,100 utility poles down or severely damaged and 526 transformers damaged. The combined restoration cost of the 2000 storms was $195 million.

Entergy Arkansas, Inc. provides electricity to almost 684,000 customers in 63 counties.



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